Terror in France

Chandler Foster

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Officers located and confronted ISIS affiliates on November 15. Photo by MCT Campus

A number of Daesh (the name
which the Islamic State’s enemies
have taken to calling ISIS) terrorists
launched a coordinated series of suicide
bombings, mass shootings, and
hostage takings around Paris on Friday,
November 13. Days later, Daesh
also officially claimed responsibility
for the bombing of a Russian Metrojet
over the Sinai Peninsula. While
terrorism has been rampant in the
Middle East for some time now due
to Daesh, these renewed attacks on
the Western world have reinvigorated
the War on Terror.
The Parisian attacks, which left
129 people dead and injured hundreds
more, began at 9:20 p.m. local
time. Hostages were held in the
Bataclan Theater in a standoff with
police for three hours. Simultaneously,
attackers detonated suicide
vests at four other locations around
the city, including Stade de France,
where French president François
Hollande was in attendance. Daesh
followers were quick to take to social
media, with hashtags like “#Caliphate_
State_Strikes_France” and
“#Crusader_France_On_Fire”. Following
the attacks, Hollande swore
that France, “Will be merciless toward
the barbarians of Islamic State
group.”
In the immediate wake of the attacks,
Hollande hosted an emergency
meeting of the French Cabinet,
where they declared a national state
of emergency. Curfews were imposed
for the first time since the 1960s, borders
closed and the French military
was dispatched to the streets. “#porteouverte”
(open door) was started by
Parisians on the night of the attacks
to welcome those who were unsafe
traveling home and provide shelter
and protection for the night. President
Hollande’s suggestion to extend
the state of emergency for the next
three months was officially upheld
by the French parliament.
The border is now open, but restricted
and the curfew has been
lifted. As for military patrols, 17
year old Parisian Flore Partout said,
“There are [sic] military presence but
only on sensitive places like religious
places, main streets or big stores.”
Despite the recent terrorism, the
state of emergency makes Partout
and others feel safe in their city, “It
allows searches more easily and globally
it enables faster investigations,
[wire tapping], and faster process,”
Partout said.
Though at least on suspect is still
at large, attack coordinator Abdelhamid
Abaaoud was killed in a police
raid on the Wednesday following the
attacks.
French forces followed up on
this, “act of war” with a series of
airstrikes in Daesh controlled Syria.
Jets launched from the French aircraft
carrier Charles de Gaulle have
repeatedly attacked Raqqa, Daesh’s
central city. French airstrikes have
also extended into Iraq. This increase
in attacks comes following a French
statement to “redouble and coordinate”
its attacks, accompanied by
Hollande’s vow that, “[They] will
intensify our strikes, we will choose
targets that will do the most damage
possible to the terrorist army.”
“It is not they who will destroy
the Republic. The Republic will destroy
them,” Hollande said.
Raqqa has also faced attacks from
Russian cruise missiles, following
the responsibility claims of a Russian
tourist plane bombing. Dabiq
magazine, Daesh’s English publication,
announced in its November
19 issue, entitled “Just Terror” that,
“On Saturday, [October 31] , the soldiers
of the [Islamic State] succeeded
in downing a Russian airliner above
[Sinai] with more than 220 Russian
crusaders onboard, all of whom were
killed, [thanks be to God]. This was
to show the Russians and whoever
allies with them that they will have
no safety in the lands and airspace of
the Muslims, that their daily killing
of dozens in [Syria] through their airstrikes
will only bring them calamities,
and that just as they kill, they
will be killed, by Allah’s permission.”
Many people feel that this may
signal Daesh’s tolling of their own
bell. Having already made enemies
of the 2nd and 3rd largest nuclear
super powers in the world (the US
and France respectively) Daesh went
for the top by claiming responsibility
for Russian attacks. Political expert
Charles Krauthammer said, “They
have a reputation of being utterly
ruthless — you don’t want to mess
with Boris.”
The world continues to watch
Daesh, hoping to stay one step ahead
of the terrorist group.

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