France will now hold its nose and join
BEYOND Friday night’s carnage in Paris, there were two crucial developments this week. First, there is the emerging realisation in the West that Daesh is no longer just bolstering its Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq but is now planning and carrying out major terror attacks in Europe. Second, to counter this threat, there may be little choice but to cooperate more closely with Russia against Daesh.
Previous attacks ascribed to Daesh — such as the murders at the Jewish Museum last year in Brussels and the killings in January in Paris — were believed to have been carried out by “lone wolves” acting on their own accord.
However, the sophisticated planning required for last weekend’s attacks, the use of explosive “suicide vests” and the quantity of weapons employed, leave no doubt that they were the work of a wellorganised movement.
As more information comes out, the links between the perpetrators and Daesh figures in Syria are becoming clearer.
This shift of focus on to Europe; the use of the refugee stream as a cover for infiltrating terrorists; and the involvement of French and Belgian citizens, means the West is facing a completely new level of threat.
It also means that Western intelligence and security services will now be co-ordinating more closely and focusing all their resources on this threat.
This international co-operation, however, will raise a thorny question: how can Western governments work together with Vladimir Putin’s Russia in the fight against Daesh?
In the space of just two months, Russia has become the country most heavily involved in Syria, along with Iran. While it has claimed to be acting against Daesh, the Russian efforts have been more focused on bombing