Paris Attack Update: Part 1

 

It’s been just over a month since the Paris Attacks. While the basic story is still the same — I did a round-up here on November 27 — there have been a number of interesting developments that provide some insight into how this ISIS cell worked, planned, and executed its attacks.

Updates on the Bataclan

The Bataclan theater was the scene of more than two-thirds of the carnage, and ended in a raid by French commandos.

  • The third attacker has been identified as Fouad Mohamed-Aggad, a French citizen long known to French authorities. According to Le Figaro, he and a group of friends went to Syria to join ISIS a few years ago. A few of them were killed almost immediately, and a few more were arrested on their return. Mohamed-Aggad stayed in Syria, married, and recently recently became a father. ISIS notified his parents of his death via text message. (As best I can tell, his parents are cooperating with French authorities). With his identification, all but two of the attackers have been positively identified, and all of those were either French or Belgian. In most cases, they left Europe openly and under their own names, but re-entered in secret. It’s unclear whether they returned posing as Syrian refugees or with fake EU passports.
  • The commander of the French commando unit that assaulted the terrorists gave an interview. He says one of the attackers was killed by police fire at the start of the assault, while the other two took hostages in a room upstairs, from which they issued a set of demands about French involvement in the campaign against ISIS. The police subsequently stormed the room and shot another of the attackers dead; a third blew himself up. This appears to differ slightly from other accounts that say that two of the attackers detonated their suicide vests, but it’s still rather close.
  • The Eagles of Death Metal, the American band playing at the Bataclan when the attacks began, gave a lengthy interview to Vice. It’s the most detailed English-language account I’ve come across of the actual attack. As you might imagine, it’s gut-wrenching — and not entirely CoC compliant — but it’s well-worth your time. I’m really impressed by these guys. They’re clearly shaken up over it, but they’ve already played again in Paris and want to be the first gig at the Bataclan when it re-opens.

Salah Abdelslam

Canada’s National Post has a fascinating report reconstructing the travels of Abdelslam, one of the key organizers of the Paris attacks. He is still at large. Do read the whole thing, but a few stand-out points:

  • Abdelsalam spent much of this past summer and fall crisscrossing Europe by car, ferrying a number of men: in some cases, they’ve been positively identified as the other attackers; in others, it’s strongly suspected. Some may have been posing as Syrian refugees; others had Belgian ID cards that proved to be fake. Again, it appears that most (possibly all) of these men were citizens of EU countries.
  • There is a new suspect-at-large in the attacks: Mohamed Abrini, who accompanied Abdeslam during his final reconnaissances immediately before the attack. His location is currently unknown, through the Moroccan press speculates that both Abrini and Abdelslam may both be there. I wonder if Abrini was the third, as-yet-unidentified gunman who assisted Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Salah’s brother during the restaurant attacks.
  • After the attacks, Salah drove to the 18th arrondissement, where he bought a new SIM card and called friends in Belgium, asking them to pick him up (these friends have since been arrested). Around the same time, he ditched his suicide vest. Interestingly, ISIS claimed responsibility an attack in the 18th arrondissement that did not happen. Maybe Salah got cold feet, though there’s also evidence that suggests he might have wired 750 Euros to Abaaoud after the attack.
  • The initial reports regarding the attackers involvement in petty crime and the drug trade seems to have been — if anything — under-reported. This seems less and less to be a sleeper cell of nice Muslim boys whom no one suspected, and more and more to be a group of known criminals and thugs whom the authorities knew to have joined jihad.

Members have made 13 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Manny Member

    Gut wrenching, indeed. Thanks for this.

    The Paris attack was altering for me. Before the attack I was just a critic of Islamism. Now I don’t believe it is sound to accept any muslim immigration. None. To argue over a vetting process is ridiculous. You can’t vet out the radicals.

    • #1
    • December 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm
    • LikeLike
  2. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Manny: You can’t vet out the radicals.

    So, what do we do about those who are here?

    Do we censor the Internet so people can’t find Islamic literalists online? Do we censor the Koran? So long as there are Muslims here, some are going to read the Koran literally and follow its commandments. Is there a way for us to fix this while remaining who we are?

    • #2
    • December 14, 2015 at 12:45 pm
    • LikeLike
  3. Profile photo of Aloha Johnny Member

    Thanks – very informative. I know enough to take all reports on events like this with a grain of salt for the first few days. But then once the facts are known, the story is off the front page and any comprehensive stories are hard to find, if published at all. Looking forward to more!

    • #3
    • December 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm
    • LikeLike
  4. Profile photo of Instugator Thatcher

    Arahant:

     Is there a way for us to fix this while remaining who we are?

    Short answer – no.

    One of my favorite authors, Tom Kratman, points out that in war, you cannot remain who you were – the enemy sees to that.

    The only thing you can do is keep an eye on the distinction between imperatives and the merely important.

    • #4
    • December 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm
    • LikeLike
  5. Profile photo of Trinity Waters Thatcher

    Arahant:

    Manny: You can’t vet out the radicals.

    So, what do we do about those who are here?

    Do we censor the Internet so people can’t find Islamic literalists online? Do we censor the Koran? So long as there are Muslims here, some are going to read the Koran literally and follow its commandments. Is there a way for us to fix this while remaining who we are?

    Please tell me that you’re not sidestepping the critical issue, that vetting is insufficient to snare Islamic barbarians.

    The people who are here that subscribe to the mind-numbing Koran need to be observed. I’m not advocating Stasi-lite, but simply clear-eyed observation unhampered by PC. That so many risky people are already here is just proof that our policy towards immigration has been extremely dangerous since Teddy K. threw the doors open.

    Step One: Stop Digging.

    • #5
    • December 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm
    • LikeLike
  6. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Tom Riehl: Please tell me that you’re not sidestepping the critical issue, that vetting is insufficient to snare Islamic barbarians.

    Nope. I’m not for sidestepping anything, especially what is commanded in the Koran. Religion of peace? That’s cute. Tell us another fantasy, Mr. Politician.

    • #6
    • December 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm
    • LikeLike
  7. Profile photo of Manny Member

    Arahant:

    Manny: You can’t vet out the radicals.

    So, what do we do about those who are here?

    Do we censor the Internet so people can’t find Islamic literalists online? Do we censor the Koran? So long as there are Muslims here, some are going to read the Koran literally and follow its commandments. Is there a way for us to fix this while remaining who we are?

    No, not censor the internet, but patrol it and use technology to identify people and location. People in the country are here, and I’m not proposing to expel them, but I proposed not being sensitive to their civil liberties and using the tactics that brought down the Mafia against the potential cells in this country. People will have to suck it up until the war with Islamism is over.

    • #7
    • December 15, 2015 at 4:37 am
    • LikeLike
  8. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Manny: People in the country are here, and I’m not proposing to expel them, but I proposed not being sensitive to their civil liberties and using the tactics that brought down the Mafia against the potential cells in this country.

    What does that mean, specifically? On the other thread, we seemed to be talking past each other regarding what these means constituted.

    • #8
    • December 15, 2015 at 4:57 am
    • LikeLike
  9. Profile photo of Manny Member

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Manny: People in the country are here, and I’m not proposing to expel them, but I proposed not being sensitive to their civil liberties and using the tactics that brought down the Mafia against the potential cells in this country.

    What does that mean, specifically? On the other thread, we seemed to be talking past each other regarding what these means constituted.

    I’m not going to claim to be an expert, but I would say I’m for the meta collection of data (I know you’re not), either from phone records or internet. I’m for a RICO type of law (altered for terrorist activities instead of gang activities) and I’m for the Wiretapping Laws that were enacted for racketeering surveillance.

    • #9
    • December 15, 2015 at 7:27 am
    • LikeLike
  10. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Manny: I’m for a RICO type of law (altered for terrorist activities instead of gang activities) and I’m for the Wiretapping Laws that were enacted for racketeering surveillance.

    I don’t know enough about RICO to comment (people I know think it had problems, but I haven’t investigated it personally). But I just want to be very clear that there is no controversy whatsoever regarding the government surveilling — intrusively — suspected Jihadis and terrorists. The debate has overwhelmingly focused on 1. Whether bulk collection is constitutional, 2. What kinds of surveillance should or should not require a warrant, and 3. Whether FISA, in its current form, is a good authority to issue those warrants.

    • #10
    • December 15, 2015 at 7:44 am
    • LikeLike
  11. Profile photo of Manny Member

    OK. I guess to summarize my position, I’m not so hung up on the civil liberties end. I side with the law enforcement end of the spectrum. We need to be aggressive.

    • #11
    • December 15, 2015 at 8:37 am
    • LikeLike
  12. Profile photo of Front Seat Cat Member

    I wanted to post this somewhere on Ricochet for readers – wasn’t sure where but Tom, I think this is applicable to Paris – I guess the leaders of the Middle East were waiting for pointers from the new Star Wars movie on how to fight the bad guys….sigh…

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saudi-arabia-lines-up-34-muslim-nations-in-anti-terror-coalition-2015-12-15

    • #12
    • December 15, 2015 at 8:58 am
    • LikeLike
  13. Profile photo of Front Seat Cat Member

    Watching this video – this is not anything that civilized people can ever imagine experiencing – shocking – your life is never the same – yet it is happening more frequently – and they’ve told us these sleeper cells can be anywhere – it is awful to have to go through life having to be vigilant of such things, and to know how to protect yourself – but there is no going back – this is the new world. To tell you the truth – I am not prepared – maybe a post about what we can do in any situation –

    At the end of the day, we are all still here – we are blessed just like the guy in the video said.

    • #13
    • December 15, 2015 at 9:18 am
    • LikeLike