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This past week saw a spate of horrific terrorist attacks unleashed on both France and Vienna, Austria at a time when many individuals had seemingly forgotten the still significant power of Islamic extremists and ISIS fighter returnees to Europe. The Monday rampage through a crowded market square in Vienna came on the heels of several renewed attacks on the French Republic that included a knife attack within a church and the savage beheading of a teacher. All of these attacks have been indisputedly connected with Islamic extremists.
French On The Defense as the Five Year Anniversary of Savage Attacks Invites Repeat Assaults
The French are famous for being domestically strong, but even their defenses were unable to hold back the savage determined attacks of three young radicals who infiltrated Europe andshook the French Republic badly. These individuals turned out to be self radicalized loners who were not an organized part of the closely watched networks of Islamic extremists. This made them nearly impossible for the French defenses to stop them.
Because they are not officially foot soldiers of any particular terrorist network they are difficult to track. This does not stop them from carrying out their tendencies for violence that become aggravated with the right cause. The individuals were not at all well organized or synchronized in their devastating effectiveness like the assaults that rocked the French Republic five years ago. In those Charles Hebedo newspaper reprisal attacks, the level of sophistication, weapons, and master planning allowed for them to kill and maim hundreds of French. Both the feared ISIS (Islamic State) and an affiliate of Al Qaeda claimed the deadly assaults that changed France.
Terrorist Attacks on France Show Weakness of International Borders
The prior Chief Bernard Squarcini of French domestic intelligence explained that:
“It's a personal jihad, religious and without demands.” France is facing a “new generation” of the Islamic extremists.
Over just the last year, there have been fully seven Islamic extremist assaults on the French that were orchestrated by young men whom the French intelligence services did not know. Their weapons were not sophisticated nor did they possess undisputed connections to the well-known terrorist organizations according to the Director Jean-Charles Brisard of the Paris headquartered Center for the Analysis of Terrorism.
The most recent terrorist was 21 year old Brahim Aouissaoui who came in from Tunisia as an economic immigrant from Sfax, Tunisia and reached French Southern city Nice several weeks later. He brought just a a knife to his terrorist attacks but managed to kill three individuals at the Nice-based Notre-Dame Basilica before he charged French police with the characteristic cries of “Allahu akbar” (God is great). Now a victim of both the coronavirus and hospitalized from his significant injuries the French have yet to conduct an official interrogation of Brahim. According to Brahim's friend Karim Hamzi:
“He spoke like everyone else in the neighborhood, he is not someone politicized, he didn't talk about political parties or anything. He would just say, ‘This country is going into a wall. The best thing to do in this country is to leave'.”
The French Never Seem to Learn that their Satirical Cartoons of Prophet Mohammad Infuriate Young Islamic Men
It only needed the right spark to set off rage and fury in the hearts and minds of Muslims living in France. On the five year anniversary of the original Charlie Hebdo magazine caricatures that kicked off a series of high profile assaults against Paris, the magazine insisted on republishing its Prophet Mohammad caricatures to mark the anniversary of the satirical magazine's defiance against Islamic religious extremism. Enormous anti-France protests broke out throughout the Islamic world and especially in Pakistan. In these protests, many of the protestors wielded huge knives and encouraged the individual who launched this initial assault.
Today's French authorities argue that the primary terrorist attack stems from Islamist separatism. They explain this as a network of homegrown and self-radicalized young men who are effectively taking on the strict secularist national character of the French Republic. French counter terrorism authorities have mounted reprisals against both Islamist organizations and radical Muslims.
The previous Head of Domestic Intelligence Mr. Squarcini revealed that effectively tracking young Muslims who do not possess clear ties to the well-known terrorist organizations is a serious challenge for the French intelligence services. They are now attempting to pick up on social media warning signs. Squarcini warned that:
“We need to sort it out intelligently and perform a finer analysis. We're less good at doing that.”
The warning signs were missed on his personal Facebook account in which the young terrorist had posted a photo where he held a new phone. His caption over the picture declared that:
“Allah knows that we are not here for this mortal world.”
Islamic State Legacy Lives on In Attack on Vienna, Austria
These attacks were significantly varied from the tragic shooting assault on Vienna that occurred earlier in the week. In the Austrian capital an Austrian national who had been convicted of attempting to join up with the ISIS (Islamic State) in Syria launched his assault against the residents of Vienna. This lone gunman died in the assault on the residents of the Austrian capital. He had previously spent time in jail for his efforts to link up with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The young man appears to have operated alone.
The 20 year old citizen of Austria appeared in the central Vienna districts Monday evening with his automatic rifle, machete, and pistol and began spraying bullets into the crowds of Austrians enjoying their last night out before a new lockdown took effect. Interior Minister of Austria Karl Nehammer revealed in his Tuesday news conference that he had indeed attempted to reach Syria to join forces with ISIS in past years. This map shows the greatest extent of the ISIS state that only a relatively few years ago controlled huge portions of Syria and Iraq equal in size to the United Kingcdom:
Before the police could gun down this rampaging lone gunman nine minutes into his reign of terror on the Vienna central district streets he had killed four individuals while wounding another 22 in the capital's heart. Authorities initially had feared that many gunmen were loose in the streets, yet later determined that no such evidence existed to prove other extremists played a part.
It took under 24 hours for the Islamic State to claim responsibility for the Austrian capital assault. They described the martyred extremist Kujtim Fejzulai as “a solider of the caliphate” who had attacked “close to 30 Crusaders” in their statement revealed by the SITE Intelligence Group that follows extremist messages on the Internet.
Austrian Islamic Extremist Appears to Have Been ISIS Inspired but Not Directed
The Islamic State's boast of the attack did not explain if they had been involved in putting the assault into motion. According to the language employed in the claims, it appears that the lone gunman had acted on his own orders inspired by their propaganda.
Nehammer revealed that the lone extremist had been imprisoned when he attempted to reach Syria in order to link up with the Islamic State. He received a prison sentence of 22 months yet paroled earlier. Observers were troubled that a young man on the radar of the security services was able to organize and carry out such an effective assault. According to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Tuesday:
This gunman was “definitely an Islamist terrorist attack” with a motivation that sprang from his “hatred, hatred for our basic values. This is no fight between Christians and Muslims, or between Austrians and migrants. This is a fight between civilization and barbaism. We often see ourselves as a blessed island where violence and terror is only known from abroad. But the sad truth is, even if we live in a generally safe country, we don't live in a safe world.”
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