Tag: Paris Attacks

Jihad Seduces, Jihad Directs


151117-salah-abdeslam-paris-attack-mbm_caa4b97af7dbaeef70b98c0ecad8d600.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000syed-farook-license1Syed Farook and Salah Abdeslam are alike in that that they both committed mass murder against their fellow countrymen in the name of jihad and the Islamic State. The similarities, however, don’t go much deeper than that.

Farook was solidly middle-class and almost bourgeois. Though his parents’ marriage was a mess — his father was apparently abusive toward their mother — his childhood was comfortable and normal, and he was well assimilated by most measures. Their neighbors’ biggest complaint was the noise their rooster made and the number of fireworks the family set off on July 4th. Farook finished high school a year early, and graduated from a decent public university in his early twenties while his brother joined the US Navy. He got a job as a county health inspector nearly straight out of college. A little over a year ago, he enrolled in a graduate program for environmental engineering. His co-workers apparently liked him and all but described him as a nice, quiet, Muslim guy who mostly kept to himself. Heck, he even had a good credit score.


Breaking: Salah Abdelsalam Arrested In Brussels


546482022-1From a Belgian English-language paper, the missing terrorist from the Paris Attacks has been captured alive:

Salah Abdeslam, one of the most wanted terrorist suspects in Europe, was arrested during a special police operation in the Brussels borough of Molenbeek. This happened Friday around 5PM. Salah Abdeslam sustained a leg injury in the operation, but has been caught alive, local police confirmed to the VRT. A second suspect was also apprehended. He also sustained a leg wound. This man’s identity has not been revealed yet. There were talks of 4 different house raids, but the main operation took place in the Vierwindenstraat in Molenbeek. The raid started around 5PM and was finished around 6PM.


Eagles of Death Metal Singer Rips Gun Control


EoDMThe lead singer of the Eagles of Death Metal, the band playing when gunmen opened fire in a Paris concert hall, says gun control will do the opposite of keeping people safe. Jesse Hughes said in a recent interview that France’s gun laws only made it easier for the terrorists to carry out their attacks.

“Did your French gun control stop a single [expletive] person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen in my life charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms.”


New Information on the Paris Attacks


In trying to learn more about the Paris attacks, I haven’t come across much that I feel confident commenting on, but I’ve learned a great deal that sheds light on the matter. I’ve organized much of it here, along with links to references, many of which are repeated.

What follows should be taken with the normal stipulation that information is likely to change and that there’s likely a great deal that’s known by authorities but hasn’t been released.


John Kerry’s Staggering Naiveté


AP_john_kerry_syria_nt_130830_16x9_992Secretary of State John Kerry’s mien is so European that even Europeans must find it off-putting. More disturbing, however, is his astonishing lack of knowledge about the nature of ISIS. One wonders, for example, what French president François Hollande made of Kerry’s comment that the murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo possessed “a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong.”

Kerry’s staggering moral confusion has been roundly — and rightly — criticized. This criticism, however, has missed the larger point, which is that Kerry is wrong on its merits: last week’s terrorist attack in Paris was every bit as “focused” and not at all “indiscriminate.” Don’t take my word for it, take the Islamic State’s. Two days after the attacks the Islamic State released a statement calling Paris a “capital of prostitution and obscenity.” By “obscenity,” of course, ISIS refers to things like attending sporting events, listening to rock music, and hanging out at cafes with friends sipping alcohol. As far as it is concerned, such pleasures are no less obscene than depicting Mohammed, a fact which Kerry’s ignorance disqualifies him as Secretary of State.


Battle of the Facebook Avatars


shutterstock_237774001I love my liberal friends. They’re good people. They’re fun to hang with. And when they get into online smackdowns over who’s the most compassionate and inclusive, its better than the glory days of WWF.

The latest digital rumble started with the French flag filter that Facebook offered its members after the Paris attacks. A lot of people adopted it; although I know some conservatives are bugged by it, it doesn’t bother me. People simply want to express their sympathies and support for an ally in the fight against Islamic terror.


What Happened at Stade de France?


Stade_de_France,_France_Miniature,_April_2015That’s what I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around for the last five days. Stipulating that things are still in flux and that we may be getting some more answers soon, I sense that it’s an important and relevant question how three suicide bombers — three! — recruited into an otherwise competent terrorist cell could have been so spectacularly incompetent as to kill only one other person.

What follows is some basic information and some questions, but consider this an exercise in crowd sourcing:


Three Cheers for the Man in the Red Shirt


Before you do anything else, read Kevin Creighton’s post about the personal lessons one should take from the Paris Attacks; Kevin knows what he’s talking about and please defer to his expertise should anything I say conflict with it. That said, people are often warned not to “try to be a hero” in a terrorist attack or shooting spree. There is some wisdom in this, depending on precisely what one has in mind by “hero.” As Kevin says, one’s first duty isn’t to engage the killer, but to remove oneself — and those under one’s protection — from danger as quickly and safely as possible, though “further action is up to you and the circumstances you’re in.” In other words, focus on saving lives and don’t be an idiot. Sometimes, as we saw on the French train earlier this year, that means stopping the killer directly, though not everyone will be in a position to do so.

Though we’re still in the early days of this — which means that some stories may not entirely check out — it appears some people, having removed themselves from imminent danger, made the evaluation Kevin suggests and decided to return to save others. Via the New York Times, here’s an amazing account both of what happened in the Bataclan theater: