Erstellt am: 14. 11. 2015 - 14:50 Uhr
Paris: "The conflict no longer has borders"
France emergency services
While every terror attack is horrific and shocking, there is something about last night's Paris attacks which to me is as disturbing and chilling as anything since 9/11.
Why was this different?
To start with, it the first large scale coordinated attack by the Islamic State group outside the Middle East. When they formed, their interested were firmly in the Syria/Iraq region. This is clearly no longer the case.
AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
Then there is the choice of targets: a concert venue popular with young people, a football stadium, and a number of restaurants and cafes. Music, sport, dining with friends - typical activities of ordinary people everywhere. This was not a strike against political institutions, but against civilians regardless of their backgrounds, faiths, interests, or ethnicity. These targets drive home the point that no one is safe, anywhere.
On a "Reality Check Special" programme today, international security expert, Shashank Joshi, gave his views on the significance of these targets.
"It was a beautiful, clear evening with lots of people out and about"
AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET
All 6 of the attacks took place within a little over half an hour of each other - a type of coordination and sophistication which not only demonstrated the scope of the group, but also stretched the Parisian emergency services.
As people were told to go home, and stay home, Parisians came together to help each other as the tragedy developed.
Our correspondent in Paris, Catherine Field, explained how the city was rocked to its core, but defiant in the face of terror.
"Masked by a dead body"
It's hard to imagine what it would be like to be caught up in such a nightmare, still less to be able to describe it soon after the events, but Theresa Cede, a young Austrian who lives in Paris, was in the Bataclan at the time, and while clearly shaken and exhausted, managed to tell Boris Jordan her harrowing story.
Hugh Schofield described the feeling in Paris today and what happened to his friend who was also in the Bataclan as the attack happened.
"You can never have 100% security"
After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January this year, France put a great deal of effort into tightening security. In fact, the French authorities have some of the most extensive surveillance powers of any county in the world, but it still was clearly not enough.
AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT
The morning after, this morning, brought an eerie calm to the city. 1,500 troops have been called in to help security operations, but it's unclear what they can do against such an enemy. As the attackers used suicide belts, the search is now on for accomplices and there are unconfirmed reports of
arrests and connections in Germany and Belgium.
Thomas Withington, a Toulouse based security analyst, says that no matter how tight security is, there will always be the risk that a group gets through.
"The attacks have concentrated minds"
Additionally, Thomas says that rolling back Islamic State territory will be essential to combating the threat of future attacks. Doing that will take international cooperation, and the events of last night are reverberating around the Syria talks taking place in Vienna.
Bethany Bell is at the Syria talks, and described how the mood, if not the content, of the talks has changed overnight.
"Paris is the European 9/11"
The challenge is partly political, but it's also very much practical, and is posing new problems and questions for counter terrorism agencies. At first, it was unclear who was responsible for the attacks, but it wasn't long before Islamic State issued a communique claiming the atrocities.
Yan St Pierre is a counter-terrorism expert with MOSECON, and he believes we are entering a new realm of worldwide conflict.
AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
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