First and foremost, let us all pray for the families of the victims of this horrific act of terror in Paris. We serve a mighty God and he can bring peace in this time of grief and suffering.
Eight ISIS terrorists wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide belts carried out coordinated attacks at six sites around Paris Friday night, killing at least 129 people and wounding at least 300 others, France’s president said Saturday.
2 Suspects Identified as Paris Attack Investigation Widens – The investigation into the Paris terrorist attacks unfurled across Europe on Sunday, from France to Belgium to Serbia, as the authorities worked to track down the identities and allies of the assailants who laid siege to Paris for three …
From France: Live: Authorities detain six relatives of gunman who attacked Bataclan theatre FRANCE 24
Speaking after an emergency security meeting to plan his government’s response, Francois Hollande declared three days of national mourning and raised France’s security to its highest level. He described Friday’s attacks, which produced the worst bloodshed in Paris since World War II, as an “act of war.” Hollande said ISIS was “a terrorist army … a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”
Hollande also vowed that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group” and promised his government would “act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country.” France is already bombing ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition, and has troops fighting extremists in Africa.
Less than an hour after Hollande’s statement, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement that described Paris as “the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe” and described the attackers as “eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles.”
“Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the IS,” the statement also read, in part, “and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign.”
Source: Fox News
On the same day as the attacks, on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” President Barack Obama seemingly downplayed the threat of ISIS in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired on Friday’s broadcast of “Good Morning America.”
Stephanopoulos asked Obama if ISIS was gaining in strength, to which Obama denied they were.
“I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” Obama responded. “What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave, but you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.”
“What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures,” he admitted. “We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters and part our goal has to be to recruit more effective Sunni partners in Iraq to really go on offense rather than simply engage in defense.”
Some early thoughts from David French. David is a staff writer at National Review, an attorney (concentrating his practice in constitutional law and the law of armed conflict), and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the author or co-author of several books including, most recently, the No. 1 New York Times bestselling Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and a former lecturer at Cornell Law School. He has served as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom. David is a major in the United States Army Reserve (IRR). In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, serving in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
First, a multi-pronged military-style assault on civilian soft targets is exactly the kind of terrorist attack I’ve long feared. Every western capital is vulnerable to attacks like this, and the combination of open borders and thousands of European and American citizens fighting for ISIS renders all of our cities open to assault. This is likely not the last major urban attack, and we may see another soon.
Second, while it is encouraging to see Kurdish progress in Iraq (with considerable American air support) along with seemingly an increased American commitment to fighting ISIS – complete with a modest number of boots on the ground in Syria – this is all too little, too late. ISIS has been allowed not just to live, but to grow. And now it’s demonstrating massive increase in its destructive reach. Within the space of days, it has apparently brought down a civilian airliner, bombed Beirut, and now reportedly launched a multi-pronged urban assault in a western capital. This is what happens when terrorists are allowed safe havens and given free reign to recruit and spread their influence. MORE PARIS WAGING THE WAR ON “TERROR,” VICHY-STYLE BARBARIANS WITHIN THE GATES THE WAR THAT HASN’T ENDED
Third, Francois Hollande is pledging to wage “pitiless” war. Good. Now let’s see if France backs up its words with actions. While France is often the butt of jokes about its military prowess, it not only has a centuries-old tradition of military valor, it breeds warriors still. May they be unleashed.
Fourth, if European leaders (and the Obama administration) retain a shred of sanity, they’ll rethink their approach to the migrant crisis and start to close their borders, quickly. There are almost certainly more terrorists who have recently arrived in European capitals, awaiting only weapons, organization, and an opportunity to launch the next attack.
Fifth, look for more firefights in Paris as the French police and military likely launch a crackdown orders of magnitude more potent than the crackdown after the Charlie Hebdo attack. If French intelligence services have been monitoring nascent terror cells, look for them to strike hard and fast to forestall any future attacks. For the time being, the gloves will come off.
Charlie Hebdo wasn’t that long ago. What did we learn? It appears that we did not learn enough. Now we recognize it is war. It was then as well.
On the morning of 7 January 2015 at about 11:30 local time, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with assault rifles and other weapons, they killed 11 people and injured 11 others in the building. After leaving, they killed a French National Police officer outside the building. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, who took responsibility for the attack. Several related attacks followed in the Île-de-France region, where a further five were killed and 11 wounded.
France raised its Vigipirate terror alert and deployed soldiers in Île-de-France and Picardy. A massive manhunt led to the discovery of the suspects, who exchanged fire with police. The brothers took hostages at a signage company in Dammartin-en-Goële on 9 January and were shot dead when they emerged from the building firing.
On 11 January, about two million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in Paris for a rally of national unity, and 3.7 million people joined demonstrations across France. The phrase Je suis Charlie (French for “I am Charlie”) was a common slogan of support at the rallies and in social media. The remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo continued publication, and the following issue print ran 7.95 million copies in six languages, in contrast to its typical print run of 60,000 in only French.