Monday, June 19, 2017

Close call in France as a terror attack fails in Champs-Elysees

A member of the bomb squad checks the car. BBC/EPA

A terror attack targeting a police vehicle at Champs-Elysees has failed as a man with a car crashed into a police van. BBC. The suspect was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns and gas bottles, but was killed in the crash and ensuing fire. No one else was hurt in the incident. Though the attack failed, officials say that the amount of gas in the vehicle could have caused an explosion. No one has taken credit for the attack but the suspect was reportedly on a terror watchlist since 2015 for membership in an unnamed "radical Islamist movement". 

My Comment:
This was a very strange terror attack attempt. I'm forced to conclude that the attacker was probably pretty stupid. If the suspect was armed with a rifle and multiple handguns, why use the car for anything? Wouldn't it have been smarter to just shoot people? 

It's also unclear how the suspect died. I don't know if he just died in the crash, the ensuing fire, or if the cops put him down. If he just died because of his own actions then his plan was really terrible. It's possible that he was trying to set his car on fire to cause chaos and distract cops while he was shooting people, but maybe he rammed the car to hard and stopped his own attack? 

I also don't understand why he would use the ramming tactics ISIS has used so frequently this way. If he wanted to conduct a ramming attack, why target a police van? Why not run over a bunch of civilians? And why resort to ramming at all when you have a bunch of guns? It doesn't make any sense.

If this was a failed car bombing, it seems like an even stupider plan. Though the weapons and fuel in the car could have exploded, it seems like he didn't have a way to activate the bomb or died before he could do so. Either way, this plan didn't work. 

I'm not sure if this is a lone wolf attack or not. The very stupid plan of the suspect kind of makes me think that he was acting alone. If he had help they would presumably have told him to get a better plan. But on the other hand the presence of a Kalashnikov makes me think he had help. AK's aren't exactly hard to get in Europe but you do need connections to the black market gun dealers and that usually implies some connections with terrorism. Plus the BBC said he made Frances terror radar due to membership in an extremist movement, so at the very least he probably did have some connections. 

Even though this terrorist attack failed, it did help ISIS. Even failed terror attacks can frighten people and disrupt the country. This attack didn't kill anyone but it still grabbed headlines and shut down one of the most important tourist areas in the country. Despite the obvious failure of the attack, it still has an effect. 

All that being said though, I have to repeat something I have said many times in the past. Thank God for stupid terrorists. The more attacks that kill or wound nobody but the attacker we have the better... 

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