Why ISIS Targeted France And Who Is Next
By Tom Olago
The horror that unfolded in Paris last week, and the recent downing of a Russian airliner must have left many wondering: who will be next? Which city of ‘infidels’ and ‘crusaders’ will face the wrath of ISIS or some other terrorist group, hell-bent on shedding the blood of the innocent and leaving a long trail of destruction and pain in its wake?
No nation wants to be next, so heightened security alerts and measures are being hurriedly put into place, reactivated or enhanced all over the world, all in the hope of preventing terror attacks altogether, or minimizing the effects of any potentially successful ones.
Mali quickly discovered that it is almost impossible to know where the next terror attack is going to be as 21 people were killed after being taken hostage at the Radison Blu hotel by an Al Qaeda affiliate. Al Qaeda is looking to show that it is not to be forgotten in an effort to stay relevant in the ISIS onslaught. Belgium has gone on a high state of alert, which has included shutting down many parts of the city as it prepares to be next.
Many went into a panic over the weekend when reports surfaced that the online hacker group Anonymous had discovered information regarding planned terror attacks in Paris, the United States, Indonesia, Italy and Lebanon. Anonymous has since distanced itself from the report but it shows you how quickly disinformation or misinformation can propagate on the web and social media. We should expect a lot more of these types of false reports as people find themselves on edge which is exactly what Islamic terror groups are hoping.
One of the questions being asked is: why France? Some attacks conducted by Islamic Terrorists are clearly well planned and purposely chosen for symbolism such as the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon or the 7/7 bombings in London. Other attacks that are more “lone wolf” such as the Ft Hood shooting or the British soldier run down and beheaded in a London street in the middle of the afternoon are attacks of opportunity.
It is impossible to know where attacks of opportunity are going to arise but symbolic attacks take much more planning and it might be useful to examine the motivating factors behind the Paris onslaught for nations to examine their own history and policies that may make them a target.
A recent analysis by Elliot Friedland for the Clarion Project.org believes ISIS prioritizes which countries to attack, and when. He offers five top reasons that Paris, and France in general was singled out:
1. France has been fighting the Islamic State and other Islamists, and so far has been the only European country to join the air strikes with the U.S;
2. France has specifically named the Islamist ideology as the problem. They have stated that they are at war with radical Islam and have taken steps against other extremist groups;
3. France is standing up for its values and seeking to integrate Muslims. ISIS finds this unacceptable. The model proposed by Prime Minister Manuel Valls explicitly stated: “We seek to establish a model of Islam that is fully integrated, fully compatible with the values of the Republic.”
4. Paris represents the enlightenment values of Western civilization. ISIS derides Paris as “the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe – Paris.”
5. The Islamic State is obsessed with history and honor. It carries a grudge with France over what it sees as historical injustices dating back to the 11th century, and now seeks to re-assert itself over Europe whilst taking the form the revived Muslim Caliphate.
None of the above are reasons that would resonate with civilized modern society, yet as usually happens, such attacks still tend to motivate other potential terrorists to launch their own offensives. They thrive on riding the publicity waves as far as possible, while media interest and social focus on terror is still at its highest.
Ryan Mauro of ClarionProject.org suggests that there are several ISIS threats that now loom large:
1. “Copycat” attacks by the Islamic State and other Islamist terrorist supporters, including those who are loyal to Al-Qaeda, who want to show that the group hasn’t become a ‘has-been’ in the jihadist world – such as Mali.
2. There are those who will worry that they might now lose their chance to strike and earn their ticket to Paradise by dying in jihad as a “martyr.” Supporters of the Islamic State have every reason to expect Western governments to become extra aggressive in rounding up possible terrorists. ISIS supporters who believe they are on the authorities’ radar could choose to act sooner instead of patiently preparing their plot and risk being foiled, as suggested by the terror alert in Belgium.
Mauro believes that the recent attacks will earn ISIS a wave of recruits and encourage the millions of Islamic State supporters who have yet to take up arms finally to act upon their beliefs. The West will need to push back and counteract the ISIS propaganda scores, by persistently reminding ISIS and the world of the group’s failures, mistakes and acts of terror, all carried out in the name of Islam.
In a recent analysis published in Christian Headlines.com, Ayman S. Ibrahim states four ways that ISIS bases its acts of violence on religion, and why it matters:
1. ISIS based its actions on a literal reading of the Qur’an. It views itself as truly Islamic and claims its actions are supported by the Qur’an.
2. For ISIS followers, France is at war with Islam. The ISIS-issued statement that accepted responsibility for the attacks portrays France (and its allies) as Crusaders, literally “the holders of the Cross,” portraying the war in purely religious terms.
3. The attacks were meant to imitate seventh-century raids led by the Prophet Muhammad. The statement identified the Paris attacks using the Arabic term “ghazwa”, meaning ‘battle’. This term is said to have been primarily used in the biography of Muhammad, in reference to his raids and expeditions against the non-Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century.
4. The terrorists viewed themselves as martyrs for Islam. They died, the statement said, to support the cause of the true religion and in fulfillment of the charges of the Prophet Muhammad to humiliate enemies, rubbing “their noses in the dusty ground.”
Ayman concludes that to claim that all Muslims are terrorists is far from correct, but to deny or underestimate the significant power and influence of some Islamic texts and specific interpretations of them is not prudent, either.
And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curse you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
The French government chose to curse Israel by backing Palestinian attempts to steal the land from it’s rightful owners – the Jews.
The French government chose to sponsor UN edicts that call for Israel to give it’s land to these Egyptians and Arabs etc, even though they know from the experience of Gaza, that the Palestinians have no intention of living in peace with Israel.
There has never in history been a Palestinian state, or any ethnic group called Palestinians. This is an invention of those who seek only the annihilation of Israel and Jews everywhere. Those governments who support these terrorists can expect terrorism on the streets of their cities.