01 December 2015
The devastating terrorist attacks in Paris which killed 129 people and injured over 300, and the subsequent response it prompted from the West, can have far-reaching geopolitical implications in Europe, Middle East and beyond.
The Paris attacks came on the heels of a string of high-profile attacks; from a suicide attack in the Turkish capital Ankara to the bombing of a Hezbollah stronghold in the Lebanon and the downing of a Russian plane in Sinai desert in Egypt by theIslamic State of Iraq and Sham (Isis). These attacks marked a qualitative improvement in Isis’ military capabilities and expanded outreach. They also signified a shift in Isis strategy from consolidating its positions in Syria and Iraq to hit targets outside the Middle East in Europe and other parts of the world.
Certainly, Isis’ well-planned and well-executed attacks in Paris caught the French authorities flat-footed, who were in the middle of a restructuring process post the Charlie Hebdo attack earlier this year. The Paris attacks, which have been termed ‘Europe’s 9/11’, have brought the terrorist threat back to centre-stage on the international political agenda. Up to the Paris attacks, the West considered terrorism as a real but containable problem. However, these attacks have changed that perception.
… The writer is an associate research fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2015