A Year After the Thalys Attack And Still No Answers on Ayoub El Khazzani

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I was in the bookstore the other day and noticed a new book on the shelves of the Current Affairs section titled, “The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes” by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern.  I pulled it off with interest because I had recently been doing my own research on Ayoub El Khazzani, the perpetrator of the attack and hoped to pick up some new information.  Sadly, there didn’t seem to be anything new in the book on that front, but it’s probably a good a time as any to lay out to you what I have found. Continue reading

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State of Emergency

Hollande_speech_FGiIn the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, France has declared a state of emergency that will last at least three months and Brussels has remained locked down for days on end, while the now oft-maligned Molenbeek district experiences a steady of diet of police raids. By 23 November, France had conducted over a thousand police searches, around 140 interrogations, and placed over a hundred people in custody. But is all this the answer? Admittedly, some of these activities are a long-overdue response to a festering problem, but it easily risks spilling over into a counterproductive campaign if it has not already done so. So what should be done? The answer to that question requires a clear understanding of what happened and the events that led to the Friday the 13th attacks. Continue reading