It’s been ten days since the attacks in Paris that claimed over a hundred lives – the biggest threat of terror the country experienced since the invasion of Nazi Germany. Nine young male attackers organized several terrorist attacks that day, shooting and blasting their way to a higher death toll.
In the latest international news, Western governments have issued statements and plans to attack Syria with more military force, and the French government already began launching airstrikes to pummel the Islamic State over a week ago, among statements from local activists that just a few airstrikes wasn’t enough.
Belgian Police Arrest 16 Terror Suspects During Raids
Continuing the search in Europe, and following the discovery of other alleged terror plots in Central and Western Europe, Belgian police have apprehended 16 potential suspects during several anti-terror raids on Sunday night – a total of 22 raids, according to the police.
The Belgian capital, Brussels, remains on high alert. “We have to stress that no firearms or explosives were discovered during the raids,” stated federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt during a press conference. “Certain elements in the investigation made Sunday’s intervention necessary. The investigation will in any case be relentlessly continued.” Nineteen raids took place in Brussels, and three in other cities.
In Response to Police Request, Belgians Post Cats
During the raids, the police department explicitly asked citizens not to report on any information about the raids online, so as to prevent giving knowledge to any suspects. In response, locals got on Twitter to share images of cats, making sarcastic or witty comments in turn.
All Attackers Suspected to Be European Nationals
As revealed as early as Wednesday, eight of the nine attackers had confirmed European passports and identities. Most of them were French nationals, with a single Belgian national, and one other EU national. A fake Syrian passport was discovered at the scene of a suicide bombing, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.
One of the gunmen of the Parisian attack was suspected to be in Brussels, but evaded the authorities, with intelligence stating that he may be headed towards Germany as one eye witness reported seeing the suspect fleeing towards the German border.
Paris Attack “Mastermind” Supposedly Dead
The ringleader behind the attacks in Paris, AdbelhamidAbaaoud, was reportedly shot and killed in a Special Forces raid on his hideout in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis. He had affiliations to hate preachers based in the UK and Belgium, who recruited young men for Islamic extremism, especially in the local district of Molenbeek, where an unemployment rate of almost 30 percent according to the Brussels Institute of Statistics and Analysis has made the area a hotbed of poverty and radicalization.
American Boots on the Ground Likely at This Point
Despite the attacks in Paris, a strong 76 percent of the American public don’t want “boots on the ground” against ISIS, and a smaller 65 percent do not want special ops, according to a report by Forbes. Nevertheless, the 350 or so “advisors” in 2014 have swelled up to 3,500 soldiers, while the Obama administration has moved to bolster support for local rebels in the form of special operators. More on this story as it develops, on DivyaBhaskar.