BLOG 235 January 19, 2015
The past week has exploded with jihadist terrorists spreading terror in Paris and across Europe. However, a second look suggests, the Al-Qada and ISIS extremists have not come off nearly as good as the media coverage of the two hits in Paris might portray. In fact, the extremists are in a worse position as the week comes to an end.
The attack on the Charlie Hebodo weekly and the kosher supermarket killed 20 people but left the three jihadists dead and their female accomplice on the run. In turn, anti-terrorist raids across Europe captured dozens of these criminals. In Brussels, Belgium, the army hit the streets to stop potential attacks by Mideast Islamic extremists. French, Germany, Belgian, and Irish police captured 30 extremists and put them in jail. Rifles, hand guns, and explosives were captured. Police uniforms were found that suggested an attack was planned by terrorists masquerading as police officers. In the eastern industrial city of Verviers two suspects were killed and a third wounded.
With the largest rally in French history filling the street with millions declaring that freedom of speech would not be halted, French president Francois Hollande put 122,000 police on high alert and sent ships to the Middle East. Far from crippling Europe, the jihadist are on the run.
The truth is that ISIS fighters are losing ground in the Middle East. More than a thousand militants were killed and territory lost in the border town of Kolani that stands on the edge of Syria and Turkey. USA led air strikes and Kurdish fighters have turned back the jihadists. No longer can the Islamic State fighters claim unstoppable momentum and inevitable victory. This loss of ground also robs ISIS of the psychological edge used for recruitment and intimidation. The truth is that extremists have been knocked backward. The US-led coalition air strikes tipped the balance of power,
In response to the French national rallies supporting Charlie Hebdo, two churches were burned in Niger. The death toil rose to 5 after a burned body was found in a Roman Catholic Church. Of course, the churches and their congregations had nothing to do with the rallies in far off France. But again, another meaning is hidden in this disruption. The antagonists revealed their hatred of Christians. For many of these jihadists, they see themselves in a religious war. Their violence gives the West a clear read on what they are about.
When you add up the score, the terrorists are actually not doing so well. Hard days are ahead for them.