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Nine Aftershocks Of The Paris Terrorist Attacks

Richard Miniter


So far, the coverage of the Paris mass murders has been rightly dominated by words of support and solidarity from world leaders. In the coming days, we will learn if the attacks spur far-reaching political changes on immigration, surveillance, counter-terrorism and the fates of political parties on both sides of the Atlantic. The September 11 attacks altered American politics and the Paris attacks will likely herald a similar seismic shift.

We should expect at least nine aftershocks that will rattle markets and influence elections in both Europe and the United States.

1. A search for a terrorist command cell seems to be underway—and it may reveal that ISIS’ tentacles stretch across much of Europe. French authorities have said little about such a command cell, except that police are pursuing as many as 20 “accomplices.” The Germans have announced one arrest linked to the Paris attacks. Yet, there are good reasons to believe, in these first hours after the attacks, that French security forces are actively pursuing the masterminds behind the terror.

Official silence may be a shrewd move to prevent panic. France is already traumatized. In less than an hour, the city witnessed the strobing blue lights of ambulances illuminating paramedics as they stanched the blood of shot students, the dead left like litter under café awnings, police bustling past motionless concert goers murdered in their seats, checkpoints manned by  paramilitary police with machine guns, and the vibration of armored vehicles rumbling down narrow neighborhood streets.

French President Hollande’s steely command to remain indoors is itself shocking. The French have not heard such warnings since the 1960s war in Algeria. Even the Charlie Hebdo attacks closed only a handful of streets in a single arrondisement, not virtually all of Paris as well as the national borders.

Closing the borders is a way to trap surviving terrorists.  The foot soldiers are dead. Their officers may not be.

The president may not want to add


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