FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The New Terrorism: From Paris to Orlando

Americans still reeling from the horrific attack in Orlando probably don’t know it, but Paris today is also staggered by another bloody terrorist killing: two police—an officer and his wife, who also worked for the police—were hacked to death late last night. The French are particularly stunned and outraged by the fact that the police couple were murdered in their own home—the husband stabbed to death—the wife’s neck slashed–in the presence of their three year old son, who survived.

Orlando and Paris are thousands of miles apart, but what is striking are some of the parallels between the two attackers. Though both claimed they were acting in the name of ISIS, they also both appeared to have carried out their vicious attacks on their own, on targets of their choosing.

They both had also been known to authorities. Indeed, most of the terrorist incidents in France over the past few years have been carried out by young people known to the police.

The current French assailant, Larossi Abballa, 25, had actually been arrested and imprisoned in 2013 for two and a half years, charged with being part of group that was infiltrating would-be jihadist fighters, linked to Afghanistan and Pakistan. After his release, authorities had kept an eye on him, but eventually decided he no longer represented a significant threat.

Why did they still not keep him on a tight watch list? Because the French have thousands of potential suspects like him—many of whom have been to Syria and Iraq.

And, as I mentioned in a previous article, full time surveillance of just one individual requires 18-20 agents. There’s no way authorities can cope with the numbers.

France has already been living under a state of emergency since last November’s attacks. Thousands of homes have been searched; thousands of suspects picked up and questioned; hundreds arrested.

What more should the authorities do? Place everyone who might conceivably murder in the name of Isis in some kind of extra judicial detention and throw away the key? Erect a domestic Guantanamo?

Should there be a ban on automatic weapons? France already has one. A knife was good enough for Larossi Abballa to murder the two French cops.

French police and military are already stretched to the breaking point, guarding potential terrorist targets across France, investigating each new denunciation, not to mention handling the rampant strikes and demonstrations roiling this country, and providing security for the mammoth Euro football championship being held in six French cities. Now they have to worry about the security of their own homes.

Another parallel: Neither of the two killers in Paris and Orlando were regular members of radical mosques. Neither had ever been to Syria or Iraq, nor had any training with ISIS. (A few years ago, Larossi Abballa worked out with a few like-minded radicals in a Paris park.)

In these Internet days of Twitter, Facebook and You tube, such contact no longer necessary. Self-radicalization is the watchword. If Abballa needed to know how to slit some one’s throat, he could always watch a beheading on social  media.

Indeed, Abballa posted to Facebook as he was carrying out his grisly crime.

What to do? Both the U.S. and France (and other European countries) face an enormous—almost existential–quandary. If the terrorist attacks persist —and they will—they will further empower the political harbingers of fear and hatred who already challenge the core, democratic values of each country.

What is startling however, is that, neither in France nor the U.S. in all the endless TV coverage and “expert” talking heads, in all the campaign speeches and tweets, is anyone addressing one of the major issues. That is, the problem is not just one of police resources, intelligence failures or flawed immigration laws, but foreign policy.

As I said, what particularly horrifies the French is that this attack took place at night, the police officers hacked to death not in their line of duty, as it were–but in the sanctity of their own home, in front of their three year old child.

According to French Television, ISIS apparently congratulated Larossi Abballa for his awful act. The deaths of the two police, said the declaration, were far more important than any deaths on the battlefield.

The fact is, that Isis and its unhinged supporters in the U.S. and France have managed to bring at least a taste to Americans and French of the terrible carnage that has been going on in the Greater Middle East for the past decades:  markets and schools and public buildings blown apart, a region where people—some “guilty’ some innocent “collateral damage” meet death in their homes on a daily basis.

Let me be clear: this by no means justifies the Isis-inspired attacks. But, until the leaders and opinion makers and talking heads in the U.S. and France and their allies, are willing to recognize the extent to which their own massive intervention in the Greater Middle East is also responsible for the terrible situation we find ourselves in today–then, this long, downward spiral to God knows where will only continue its bloody way.

More articles by:

BARRY LANDO is a former producer for 60 Minutes. He is the author of  “Deep Strike” a novel about Russian hacking, rogue CIA agents, and a new American president. He can be reached at: barrylando@gmail.com or through his website.

January 17, 2019
Stan Cox
That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant
David Schultz
Trump vs the Constitution: Why He Cannot Invoke the Emergencies Act to Build a Wall
Paul Cochrane
Europe’s Strategic Humanitarian Aid: Yemen vs. Syria
Tom Clifford
China: An Ancient Country, Getting Older
Greg Grandin
How Not to Build a “Great, Great Wall”
Ted Rall
Our Pointless, Very American Culture of Shame
John G. Russell
Just Another Brick in the Wall of Lies
Patrick Walker
Referendum 2020: A Green New Deal vs. Racist, Classist Climate Genocide
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Uniting for a Green New Deal
Matt Johnson
The Wall Already Exists — In Our Hearts and Minds
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Flailing will get More Desperate and More Dangerous
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Three
January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: When Just One Man Says, “No”
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Two
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
Robert Fisk
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail