Following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, the responses have been unified in tone but diverse in the way that people are proposing solutions. We all feel anger. We all feel fear.
As far as proposed solutions, we diverge. Many feel frustration that this was allowed to happen in the first place. They’re blaming weak responses to the Islamic State and insecure border policies, particularly regarding Middle East refugees. Others are calling for calm so that the legitimate refugees are not hurt as a result of these attacks.
There are several scary aspects to consider, but what I believe is the scariest isn’t being discussed very much. That fear surrounds the fact that this took place now. The Islamic State has demonstrated that they are not stupid. They have also shown that they can infiltrate Europe and other western countries through the mass of humanity that is currently pouring over the borders.
They are aware that this attack would escalate calls to shut down the borders, to turn away migrants, and at the very least to keep better tabs on those who are entering the countries of western Europe. Some might say that it was not coordinated directly by the Islamic State, but the evidence is clear that they were properly funded, that their plans were pretty well conceived, and that they intended it to be even bigger than it was.
When all is said and done it’s possible that over 200 people will have died from the attacks, but imagine if the three terrorists with vest bombs had made it into the stadium. It wouldn’t just be the explosions in condensed areas that would have killed people. The ensuing stampede would have helped to drive the number from 200 to over 1000.
Switching to the suicide bombings in Beirut and the downing of the Russian passenger jet over Egypt, we can see that this is not an isolated incident. It’s a trend. It’s an escalation of terrorism being perpetrated directly and indirectly by the Islamic State. These two were likely ordered rather than being independent supporters acting as lone wolves. The close proximity on the calendar of these attacks is conspicuous.
Now, let’s look at the Paris terrorists themselves. We know that at least two of them landed in Greece last month. Let that sink in. They arrived in Europe in October. They were able to procure the resources – guns, ammunition, and explosives – and coordinate an attack with the six other known terrorists as well as with help from outside.
What was the rush? Why provoke the shutdown of the pipeline they had easy access to that was allowing Muslim extremists into western countries? Why not wait until they could sweep further into Europe, reach into the United States, and start infiltrating other countries around the world?
The only logical answer, the conclusion that one must come to knowing these facts, is that the Islamic State chose now to start a wave of terror because they already have all of the pieces they need in place. There is no other conceivable way to look at it if we assume that they’re not stupid. They chose now because they don’t need to wait for the rise of agents on foreign soil. They don’t have to wait for the Syrian refugee vetting process to make it through proper channels in the United States and other countries because they have already infiltrated.
For them to play this hand, we have to assume that they don’t need to use the refugee crisis to send their agents abroad. The Paris attack means that they’re already prepared to attack.