Belgium to Detain Foreign Fighters After Paris Attacks

Belgians returning from jihad in Iraq and Syria will be detained in the future, Prime Minister Charles Michel has announced.

Michel also told parliament in Brussels that his government would budget an additional €400 million for security spending after Belgian nationals were identified as suspects in Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Other new counterterrorism measures include speeding up trials for returning foreign fighters and banning the anonymous sale of phone sim cards. Read more “Belgium to Detain Foreign Fighters After Paris Attacks”

Why the Hell Would ISIS Attack Paris? Geopolitics of Terrorism

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Aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France (Unsplash/Rodrigo Kugnharski)

It was not, of course, just Paris this weekend: Beirut also felt the murderous strategy of militant Islam. For those who are attuned to ignoring the developing world, the attacks in Paris were shocking, confusing and subject to simplistic explanation: they hate us, they hate freedom, they want Sharia, etc., etc.

But when it comes to organizations training, supplying and directing acts of terrorism, hate and religion are not the explanations we seek. Organizations, like nation states, are neither suicidal nor nihilistic: they seek to empower themselves and gain security through whatever means are available to them.

And understanding this need goes a long way towards understanding what happened this weekend. Read more “Why the Hell Would ISIS Attack Paris? Geopolitics of Terrorism”

Hawks Are Right: Paris Terrorists Hated Our Way of Life

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Night falls on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Unsplash/Rafael Kellermann Streit)

When terrorists strike, hawks always say it is our freedom and our democracy they despise.

This weekend was no different. After more than 130 people were killed in terrorist attacks across Paris, the Front national in France itself, the right-wing press in the United Kingdom and Republicans in the United States all gave the same explanation: The terrorists struck because they hate us for who we are.

It is not always that simple. But they are not altogether wrong either.

The leaders and ideologues do resent Western civilization and what it stands for. Their foot soldiers in the West are driven to madness less out of conviction than spite. Read more “Hawks Are Right: Paris Terrorists Hated Our Way of Life”

Guards Disrupted Terror Plot at Paris Stadium

Guards at the Stade de France in northern Paris stopped a suicide bomber entering the stadium on Friday when tens of thousands of spectators, including the French president, François Hollande, were watching a friendly football match between the national terms of France and Germany.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the attacker was discovered wearing an explosive vest when he was frisked at the entrance to the stadium about fifteen minutes into the game. While backing away from security, he blew himself up.

Minutes later, two more suicide bombers detonated their explosives in the vicinity of the stadium, killing one. Read more “Guards Disrupted Terror Plot at Paris Stadium”

Hollande Calls Islamic State Attacks in Paris “Act of War”

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility on Saturday for attacks in Paris a day earlier that left at least 127 people dead.

President François Hollande called the attacks “an act of war.”

“All measures to protect our compatriots and our territory are being taken within the framework of the state of emergency,” he said. Read more “Hollande Calls Islamic State Attacks in Paris “Act of War””

Dozens Die in Paris Attacks, Hollande Declares State of Emergency

French president François Hollande declared a national state of emergency on Friday night after a series of what he described as “unprecedented terrorist attacks” in Paris left dozens dead.

The president, who himself was rushed away from a football match in the north of Paris when explosions were heard outside the stadium, also ordered the country’s borders closed and deployed the army to aid police in the capital.

“We know where the threat is coming from,” he said in a televised address. “We know who the terrorists are.”

Police said there had been two suicide attacks and one bombing outside the Stade de France.

Shootings at six more locations were confirmed, including restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall in the 11th arrondissement, a district on the Right Bank of the River Seine that is known for its nightlife. Read more “Dozens Die in Paris Attacks, Hollande Declares State of Emergency”

Train Attack No Reason to Return European Border Controls

Friday’s foiled terror attack on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris is no reason to reinstate border controls in Europe. The freedom of movement is one of the European Union’s greatest accomplishments and one that most directly benefits its citizens.

Of course, open borders make it easier for criminals and terrorists to travel between countries. But closing them — or impeding travel and trade with cumbersome controls — would be an emotional overreaction. Read more “Train Attack No Reason to Return European Border Controls”

Kurdish, Far-Leftist Militants Step Up Violence in Turkey

At least eight people were killed and many more wounded in several attacks on Turkish security forces and the American consulate in Istanbul on Monday.

Ten were injured when a vehicle bomb exploded outside a police station in Turkey’s largest city and former capital. A police officer and two assailants later died in a gunfight.

Across town, in the Maslak business district on the European side of the city, two women shot at the consulate building of Turkey’s NATO ally the United States.

The far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front — which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies — said one of its members was involved in the area.

No one was killed and one of the shooters was apprehended. Read more “Kurdish, Far-Leftist Militants Step Up Violence in Turkey”

Shooting at Copenhagen Free Speech Meeting, One Killed

One person was killed and three police officers wounded in a shooting in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, on Saturday at a meeting attended by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks.

Vilks, who was unharmed, stirred controversy in 2007 when he published drawings that depicted the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a dog. He has received numerous death threats and lived under constant protection since 2010.

Danish police said they thought the suspect might have fled by train. A car the shooter first used to flee the crime scene was found abandoned.

Police also said the injuries their three officers sustained were not critical. Read more “Shooting at Copenhagen Free Speech Meeting, One Killed”