Published On: Mon, Nov 16th, 2015

Islamic terrorists attack Paris … again

Anthony HallIslamic terrorists perpetrated a series of coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday, in a manner eerily similar to attacks they perpetrated in January (in retaliation for French magazine Charlie Hebdo publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad).

The sites targeted include a soccer stadium, where President Hollande was among tens of thousands watching a match between France and Germany, two popular cafes, and a concert hall.

There are at least 129 dead and 350 injured. Reports are that – after killing 80 at the concert hall while yelling, “Allahu akbar, this is for Syria!” – three terrorists blew themselves up when Special Forces finally stormed in.
French President François Hollande was quick to declare a state of emergency in the wake of Friday’s bloody terror attacks…

The measures give a number of exceptional powers to the authorities, including the right to set curfews, limit the movement of people and forbid mass gatherings, establish secure zones where people can be monitored and close public spaces such as theatres, bars, museums and other meeting places.

The state of emergency also gives more powers to the security services and police, such as the right to conduct house searches at any time without judicial oversight, enforce house arrest and confiscate certain classes of weapons, even if people hold them legally.

(France 24, November 14, 2015)

Unsurprisingly, like moths to a flame, terrorism experts were, and still are, all over TV providing pedestrian speculation about who these terrorists are and why they attacked. Never mind that knowing who and why, in this age of terrorism, will do nothing to stop the next attack.

In fact, experts are merely repeating much of what they said after similar attacks in London in 2005 and Mumbai in 2008.

It must be understood that no matter their collective resolve, there’s absolutely nothing our governments can do to prevent such attacks. That Americans reacted yesterday as if those explosions went off in Washington or New York should compel Westerners to focus on calming our collective nerves, instead of fretting about (or worse, trying to figure out) the motivation for and timing of terrorist attacks by Islamic fanatics.

(“7/7 Terror Attacks in London,” The iPINIONS Journal, July 8, 2005)

Nothing demonstrates how spooked we all are these days quite like President Obama issuing a press statement on these attacks in Paris even before Hollande had a chance to.

More to the point, though, Hollande only fueled the terror the terrorists intended to ignite when he declared that state of emergency and closed all of France’s borders. Especially given that he did this while terrorists were still inside the concert hall slaughtering people in a manner that would make Jihadi John proud.

And don’t get me started on the hundreds of Special Forces who were standing by, with their big guns cocked right outside the concert hall, as terrorist gunfire and hostage screams could be heard inside. What the hell were they waiting for … direct orders from Hollande?!

But imagine what it portends if just eight terrorists can force an entire country like France into a complete lockdown. Hell, you’d think they were the second coming of the German Luftwaffe….

Mind you, I warned it would be thus:

God help us if al-Qaeda ever decided to emulate this feat by coordinating ten similar bombings, at ten football stadiums, in the ten biggest cities in America, all on a typical Saturday in the fall, when they’re packed with over 100,000 people watching college football games. Not only would the carnage be 1,000 times more devastating, but based on the reaction to this terrorist attack, law-enforcement authorities would have to lockdown not just the airports as they did on 9/11, but the entire friggin’ country, no?

(“Manhunt for Bombers Turning Boston into Theater of the Absurd,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 19, 2013)

Meanwhile, what, pray tell, is the point of deploying military troops on the streets of France to fight cells of jihadi suicide bombers you can’t identify, and who can strike at times and places entirely of their own choosing. Not to mention that such deployments always seem ass-backwards; you know, like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.

Except of course that they seem to provide a little (misguided) comfort to terror-stricken people.

Whereas it should be self-evident, especially after bombing al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups for over a decade now, that our only hope is aggressive surveillance, including profiling, to short-circuit these terrorist cells before they detonate in the heart of our cities.

This, notwithstanding that useful idiot, Edward Snowden, still sounding false alarms about a “police state,” while living like a glorified fugitive in one (Russia); to say nothing of national leaders acting as if such surveillance is a greater threat to Western civilization than Islamic terrorism. I have decried this self-deluding and self-defeating fallacy in many commentaries, including most recently in “More Evidence Snowden Leaks Undermining Global Security,” June 16, 2015.

Indeed, these latest attacks in Paris should put into sobering, foreboding perspective the handwringing that forced the NSA to scale back its collection of bulk data. But I repeat my plea for you to consider the manifest absurdity of a social media company like Facebook conducting more intrusive surveillance to sell you stuff than a security agency like the NSA does to keep you safe.

Sadly, though, all that seems really worth saying after attacks like these is: There but for the grace of God go … we.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those who perished, as well as to all the terrorized people of France.

By Anthony Hall

Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant - headquartered in Washington DC - who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at

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