Paris Attacks Shocks World

Noah Genovese-Mester

On the evening of November 13th, 2015, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh, launched its largest international terrorist attack yet in Paris, France. Over the course of several hours, ISIS launched multiple suicide bombings, along with shootings in restaurants and music venues in Paris. At the end of the attacks, 130 civilians had been killed, 89 of which were killed in the Bataclan Theatre after a hostage crisis ended in violence. This November’s attack has proven to be the deadliest attack on France since its invasion during World War II, and the largest attack within the European Union since the 2004 Madrid bombings.

The aftermath of the attack has sent shock waves through both Europe and North America. The issue of the Syrian refugee crisis had already been hotly debated within the European Union, but after the attack the conversation greatly shifted, especially when it was discovered one attacker posed as a Syrian refugee. Since the attack, Poland has sealed its borders to refugee and the European far-right anti-immigration movements have become much more vocal and received a boost in polls. It is expected that Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right French political party National Front, will be a leading candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections. The increasing popularity of the National Front has alarmed Muslims, Jews, and other minority groups within France; many still remember Jean-Marie Le Pen, the father of Marine Le Pen and previous leader of the National Front, who was a Holocaust denier and known by the media as the “Devil of the Republic.”

The United States has been affected by the attacks as well. The State Department has put out a worldwide travel alert due to the Paris attacks, and increased activity by other terrorist groups such as Boko Haram. Despite President Obama’s promise to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees and his continued support of humanitarian efforts, more than half of US governors stated that they would not welcome refugees in the weeks following the attack, including New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie. The House of Representatives has passed the American SAFE Act of 2015, which placed more restrictions on the America’s already long and cumbersome immigration process. However, only time can tell if these increased regulations will prove effective in stopping a terrorist attack.