5 Reasons Why ISIS Just Targeted Paris

Police at the site of an ISIS-claimed stabbing attack near the main opera house in Paris (Photo: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Police at the site of an ISIS-claimed stabbing attack near the main opera house in Paris (Photo: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS claimed responsibility for a stabbing near the main Paris opera house in that left one person dead and four wounded.

The 21-year-old attacker yelled “Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)” during the knife attack, which was later claimed on an ISIS’s propaganda site.

Police who arrived on the scene first tried to subdue the man with a taser but when that proved ineffective, he was shot and killed. He was identified as a native of Chechnya. His parents were taken into custody.

Why does ISIS specifically target Paris? Perhaps the best answer to this question is because they can. Here are five reasons why:

 

Paris represents the heart of Europe

Targeting the trendy, tourist-laden district of the Paris opera house, located in the second arrondissement just short distance from the Louvre, offers the group the maximum amount of payback on its modus operandi: striking terror into the hearts of infidels. What better place to show that, even with its defeats in Iraq and Syria, the group is still a relevant player in the war to create a global caliphate?

 

Easy to run, easy to hide

As we saw during the investigation into the Paris massacres by ISIS in November 2015, the amount of support the terror group enjoys in the heavily-weighted Islamist suburbs of Paris makes it relatively easy for them to plan and carry out an attack in the city. Operators can move freely, while finding plenty of people willing to hide them when necessary.

 

Lax security  

In an admission that security is not what it should be in Paris even before the attack, police cancelled a number of events for the summer saying there was “a lack of suitable security guarantees.” Among the cancelled events were the popular open-air cinema at Parc de la Villette, the car-free day on the Champs-Elysées and the Quai 54 basketball tournament featuring NBA legend Kobe Bryant, which was to be held at the Place de Concorde.

Intel in Paris is said to be less than in London, for example, where a police presence can be felt on the ground.

 

Homegrown Radicalization

The majority of terror attacks in France were perpetrated by homegrown terrorists, many of whom were radicalized in French mosques and prisons.  A year after the 2015 attacks in Paris, four mosques were closed by Paris authorities for promoting Islamist radicalism. One housed a clandestine Quranic school and was frequented by many convicted of participating in a jihadist recruiting network.

One can ask, why did it take the slaughter of hundreds of innocent French people before the authorities took the necessary steps to shut down the spread of a toxic ideology that was gestating in France for decades?

 

Migration Policy

A recent protest by 300 influential French politicians and media stars against the violent anti-Semitic attacks that have occurred – most recently in Paris – named Islamist ideology as the cause. The letter explicitly identified the threat as emanating from “radical Islamists” in predominantly immigrant Muslim communities.

From the slums of Calais to the streets of Paris, France has failed to properly address its degrading migrant situation, which further contributes to the country’s Islamist radicalization problem.

 

RELATED STORIES

Where Does France’s New President Stand on Radical Islam?

French Deradicalization Plan: So Far, Not Working

French Prisons: Universities of Jihad

 

MS
Meira Svirsky
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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