As France mornes her dead and begins to count the cost of the events of the 13th of November, the people of France remain stoic and as committed to the 3 principles that bind her, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.
Not for the first time in her history, France has become a frontline nation and Paris a frontline city. But the lights still shine and the nations of the Free world stand with her, as they did in the dark days of August 1914 and September 1940.
As details still continue to emerge from Paris, there is certainty that the game has changed. The level of sophistication of this attack points to months of meticulous planning and financing, all culminating in a multiple attacks at 6 separate locations. Beginning at the Stade De France with suicide a bombing, simultaneously another attack was put in at Le Carillion restaurant as well at the Boulevard Voltaire, Belle Equipe bar and Rue Fontaine au Roi, illustrating the coordination involved in the attack.
Security across Europe has been heightened, Germany restricted movement along its border with France. Belgium’s justice minister says authorities have made several arrests linked to the deadly attacks in Paris. Minister Koen Geens told the VRT network that the arrests came after a car with Belgian license plates was seen close to the Bataclan theater in Paris on Friday night, one of the places where victims were killed. He said it was a rental vehicle and police organized several raids in the St. Jans Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday. Geens also said “there were arrests relating to the search of the vehicle and person who rented it.” He said the number of arrests was “more than one.”
This elevates the threat level considerably, it is worth noting that the successful targeting of IS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ was unrelated in so far as this attack was not a retaliation for his targeting in a US drone strike. IS has claimed responsibility which is unsurprising and they are threatening more attacks across Europe. This is a message, a message from IS to France and the free world that they will stop at nothing to spread their message of hate and terror.
It will take time to see how France and her Allies respond to this attack. The reality is clear, this is no longer a conflict confined to the Middle East, it is no longer something to be discussed in muted tones, IS is a real threat and has been for a while. What is needed now is a unified and concerted effort by the Free world against IS and is affiliates.