This article is based partly on press reports and on an excellent program on BBC’s Panorama series entitled “Inside Europe’s Terror Attacks,” by reporters Peter Taylor and Sekunder Kermani (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07598xc). This program identifies numerous Islamic State (IS) agents in Europe, mainly in Brussels and Paris, and their relationships. It shows how Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Moroccan Belgian citizen, was the ringleader who organized several attempts to attack Europe that were unsuccessful because they were intercepted and prevented by the security services and then how they managed to carry out the successful terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov 13, 2015 that killed 130 and wounded 700 and in Brussels that killed 34 on March 22 and injured 100. Both attacks were coordinated with several sites and multiple bombs and careful planning. Video footage from Syria shows that these terrorists were well trained and were required to behead a captive infidel as a test of their commitment. Experts conclude that the attacks were carried out as military operations with precision and without mercy against unarmed civilians.
Contrary to the liberal interpretation that the perpetrators who turn to terrorism are poor, desperate and unemployed individuals, most of them were Muslims who had been educated in Europe and were petty criminals who had police records and were radicalized by Muslim recruiters. They then received military training in Syria, had ample funding and knew how to buy arms and ammunition through untraceable criminal contacts. The success of the IS terrorists resulted not only from their commitment and training but also ultimately from intelligence and other failures by the Belgian and French security forces. Notably in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris the local police force took 2 hours to end the siege, while their crack national anti-terrorist force stood by but was not allowed to participate for jurisdictional reasons.
For example, Abaaoud, the most-wanted IS man in Europe, had tasked Saleh Abdeslam with carrying out the Paris attacks, but whereas he had remained in Greece for previous unsuccessful attacks (where he was traced but managed to escape back to Syria), this time he went to Paris himself (undetected) and supervised and participated in the carnage. After the attack he called a friend in Brussels, who drove to Paris to rescue him, and then drove him back to Brussels. They passed through three roadblocks and the French-Belgian border, but were never stopped and questioned. Later he returned to France and was living homeless (so could not be traced), but was given away by a friend of his girl-friend. He was cornered and killed in a shoot-out with police a few days later.
The capture of Abdeslam and his other accomplices in the Paris and Brussels attacks is a matter of current public report. It seems that most of them came from Molenbeek in Brussels, that has the highest concentration of returning Syrian war fighters and willing Islamist recruits in Europe. Notably these terrible attacks were carried out when the security forces were on high alert. We can expect further such attacks. One of the terrorists was found to have a cell-phone with photos of a trip to the UK, including pictures of a Manchester football stadium. Those who sat back and even supported the Palestinian Arab terrorists when they were blowing up Jews in Israel are now reaping the whirlwind.