BLOG 314 August 8, 2016
The shock waves from the most recent terrorist attacks in Nice, France still reverberate across Europe. ISIS assaults on civilians in Paris, Brussels, and Germany along with the murder of a Roman Catholic priest presiding in a Mass have not only shocked Europe, but sent wave of fear through villages as well as cities.
And that is exactly what they are intended to do!
When people read about terrorism in the Middle East, they assume that’s the other side of the world and we’ve got other things to worry about in the United States (like the current election fiasco). Unfortunately, what’s going on in the Middle East has direct ramifications for the rest of the world. ISIS has long had a plan of attack for Europe should they be losing in Syria and Iraq. The conflict in those two countries is not going well for ISIS and that shoves the lone terrorist attack plan into play as we’ve seen in Europe in recent days.
Exactly what do the jihadist, terrorist ISIS groups have in mind?
Take a look at their impact on the European Union’s economy. Already the tourist season has lost at least 10% and more could come before Fall. The effect on summer business has been deep and serious. Exactly what ISIS had hoped for!
One of the spectacular French tourists sights is the medieval abbey Mont-Saint-Michel. After the Paris attacks, their chain of restaurants and hotels around the abbey dropped off by 70%. Nearly a third of their 230 employees were sent home. Reservations for the Bastille Day celebrations dropped 20% immediately after the Nice attacks.
This is exactly what the radical Islamic terrorist in far off Syria had in mind. People planning to move to France have put their plans on hold. Rental apartments in Paris are not moving as people retreat. ISIS is waging war by economic impact using suicidal individuals to create an impact that a garrison of soldiers couldn’t accomplish.
In Iraq, the war is not going well for ISIS soldiers. Over two years ago, Falluja was the first major Iraqi city to fall to ISIS. Now, the Iraqi special forces have moved in and pushed ISIS out. A major loss for the terrorists. Falluja had been surrounded for months and most of the citizens migrated. Residents had been driven out by the brutality of the ISIS fighters. Many homes had been converted into weapon storage depots or in some instances torture chambers.
Where is all this going? Probably more lone wolf attacks will follow in Europe as ISIS is defeated on the Middle Eastern battlefield. America is in a more secure area because it is surrounded by two oceans, but that didn’t stop individual attacks during the last year.
The point is clear: lose on the battlefield; strike on home base soil. If you can’t kill their soldiers, try the civilians. It’s a cruel, barbaric strategy, but as General Sherman observed about the American Civil War; “War is hell.”
It certainly is.