The World Needs to Know What Really Happened Last November

Important questions linger about what went down in Paris.

Almost six months ago, jihadists unleashed a murderous rampage on the French capital, a vicious attack that stunned the world. On the evening of November 13, nine terrorists assaulted several restaurants and bars, then took an entire theater hostage, interrupting a rock concert. By the time the ordeal ended three hours later, 130 innocents were dead, butchered by machine guns and bombs, while 368 more were injured, many critically. Seven of the terrorists blew themselves up while two escaped.

This horrific spectacle transformed France, leading the panicked government to implement a state of war, including sweeping arrests of suspected radicals, to get a handle on the country’s burgeoning jihadist problem. The Paris attacks drastically shifted the French debate on domestic terrorism. It’s no exaggeration to state that the terrible events of November 13 have affected France and much of Western Europe in a similar fashion to how the 9/11 attacks transformed the United States.

From the very outset there was little doubt that fighters from the Islamic State, the notorious ISIS, executed the Paris attacks. That group has pledged to bring their jihad to Europe, and they have done so on multiple occasions already. Seven of the nine attackers were French or Belgian nationals—mostly of North African origin—and most of them were known to the authorities as radicals. Several were on terrorism watch-lists. Two other dead jihadists were probably Iraqis, but their true identity may never be known since ISIS has a large cache of fake or purloined passports it issues to holy warriors headed to Europe.

Read the rest at the New York Observer.