Deciphering the ISIS Mindset

Here we are in Paris, where we arrived last weekend to continue to develop our television and print platform. Before arriving, I read the news that one of the suspects from the terrorist attack in Paris last November had been captured. Not less than three days later – in what seemed to be an accelerated operation – a major attack was carried out in Brussels this Tuesday, that has left more than 30 people dead. Belgians are shell-shocked; it has been a long time since Belgium has played a major strategic geopolitical role, so they are wondering why they have been targeted. There is speculation here on the ground that the attack was initially planned for another Paris attack, but changed once one of the major conspirators was arrested.

Paris as well as Europe is on high alert, with first responders armed with automatic rifles patrolling the streets. In the wake of the attacks, France had decided to boost security, tightening border controls and deploying over 1,600 additional police officers in an effort to protect access to public areas for train stations and airports to anyone without the appropriate identification and tickets. But people are bewildered nonetheless, feeling a sense of helplessness as to why they are being targeted and what if anything can be done to prevent theses senseless murders.

Terrorism is a complex idea to grasp for many of us living in the West. It is difficult to conceptualize and understandably so. There is a significant gap in intelligence, and conceptual understanding of the threat and who they [radical Islamists] are. These gaps don’t just end there but also corresponds to a gap in the tools, tactics, and techniques that law enforcement, (local, state, and federal) have at their disposal to deal with radical Islamic violence today.

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