Thursday, January 7, 2016

Paris police shoot probable ISIS militant on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Reuters.

French Police secure the area after the shooting. Reuters. 

Police in Paris, France shot and killed a man who was wielding a meat cleaver and a fake suicide bomb vest. Reuters. The man, a Moroccan named Ali Sallah, shouted "Allah Akbar" before he was shot. Sallah was homeless and had encounters with the police before he entered the police station. Sallah also had a cell phone and a sheet of paper with the ISIS flag on it and a claim of responsibility. So far there has been no direct link to the terrorist organization has been found and it has been suggested that Sallah could be mentally ill. The timing of the attack is suspicious because it comes on the one year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris. 

My Comment:
Looks like another of those home grown terrorist plots. I doubt that Sallah had any real connection with ISIS. My guess is that they are looking for higher quality terrorists. Sallah was homeless and quite possibly crazy. Not exactly grade A terrorist material there. Though I am sure ISIS is happy that random people are taking up their cause, they would likely want those random people to be competent. And this guy was not competent. At all.

This guys plan was incredibly stupid, to the point I almost wonder if this wasn't a suicide by cop. Given the possibility of mental illness, I would not be surprised if this was the case. Either way though, as a terrorist attack this one was a complete failure. Nobody but Sallah was hurt in this attack and given how it was carried out it could not have ended any other way. His real plan might have just to have been shot by the cops, though I do think that he was at least partially thinking about serving the Islamic State as well. 

After all, rushing the cops with a meat cleaver, while wearing a fake bomb vest and screaming "Allah Akbar" is almost always going to result in you getting shot. The only way that is going to work out any other way is if you are in a country where the police don't carry guns. And even then, cops with guns would show up sooner then later. Bringing a knife, or in this case, a meat cleaver to a gunfight is not going to work out for you.

 I think it is very possible that someone with a meat clever could do quite a bit of damage before the police arrived had this man struck a "softer" target. A police station is about as hard of a target you can hit, everyone there will likely have a gun, and bringing a knife to a gunfight is never a good idea. Had Sallah targeted a cafe or store, he very well might have killed someone or even multiple people. Just like the Lee Rigby case in England.  The more I write about this the more I think that this might be a suicide by cop, since what he did made very little sense for someone out to kill as many people as possible. 

I'd also like to say that I predicted this would happen. In my 2016 prediction post I said that there was a 99% chance that a terrorist attack would occur but would fail to kill anyone (except the terrorist) because the terrorist was incompetent. Even if this was more of a suicide by cop, I'd still count it as a terrorist attack since it obviously had the trappings of a terrorist attack. Sallah left a note saying it was and included a picture of ISIS's flag. I doubt this will be the last one that happens this year either. Though such attacks are disturbing, I can't really complain if they fail and end with the terrorist killed or captured. 

I think that the date for this attack has a quite a bit of significance. One year ago the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred. Though that attack was carried out by al-Qaeda, ISIS still celebrates the event. ISIS hated the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists as well, so I am not surprised that someone inspired by ISIS would choose this date. 

Finally, it's probably significant that this man was from Morocco. I have no idea if he was in France legally but even if he was he is another example of a recent arrival doing something horrible. Just like the attack on New Years Eve in Germany, this is just more evidence that unrestricted immigration has downsides...   

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