On Friday November 13, the world watched in horror as six separate terrorist attacks were perpetrated in Paris, killing 132 people and injuring over 352 with at least 99 of these individuals sustaining serious injuries. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the six attacks. The targeted sites included the Stade de France where French President Francois Hollande was watching a soccer game, the Bataclan, a concert hall where the lion share of the fatalities took place, the restaurant Le Petit Cambodge in the 10th district and outside the bar La Belle Equipe in the 11th district. Additional attacks also took place on Rue de la Fontaine du Roi and Avenue de la Republique, both located within the vicinity of the 10th and 11th districts. The victims included one American, a student from California State University Long Beach who was studying design in Paris for the semester. Americans were also among the injured.
Seven of the eight individuals who orchestrated the deadly rampage are now dead. Six of them died by blowing themselves up and the seventh died during a shootout with the police. The eighth suspect, Abdeslam Salah, 26, remains at large. At least three of the attackers were French citizens. Two of these individuals were living in Brussels. The third Ismael Osmar Mostefai, who was living in Chartres, sixty miles outside of Paris, was responsible along with two other gunmen for the Bataclan concert hall attack which killed 89 people.
President Hollande has called the incident, which is the worst instance of violence in France since World War II, “an act of war” organized from “abroad by the Islamic State with internal help” and has vowed that France will fight back to defeat Islamic terrorism. Hollande has called for a state of emergency and for three days of national mourning.
President Obama has offered the Unites States’ support to France. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there is “no credible or specific threat in the United States”.
Ironically, the day before the Paris attacks, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama described the situation with ISIS as “contained”. While The White House has released a statement that “The two leaders” (President Obama and President Hollande) have “pledged to work together, and with nations around the world, to defeat the scourge of terrorism”, President Obama still refuses to pronounce the words “radical Islamic terrorism”. They say that if you cannot identify a problem by its name, you cannot solve it. President Obama avoids uttering these words for, if he were to use them, he would be undermining his narrative that he has successfully managed relations in the Middle East.
Last January, less than a year ago, Paris was the site of yet another massacre when radical Islamic terrorists attacked the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish grocery store killing sixteen individuals and wounding at least eleven. At that time, President Obama declined to participate in the march of solidarity which took place in Paris shortly after the attacks. Virtually every major world leader was there, but President Obama was missing from the photos. He didn’t even send Secretary of State John Kerry who was in Paris at the time.
It is important that we look at how President Obama’s policies are potentially putting our nation at the risk of a coordinated terrorist attack comparable to the Paris attack. First of all, over a year ago, he granted amnesty to over five million illegal aliens. Again, there is nothing wrong with legal immigration. It made our country the rich melting pot of ethnicities and cultures that it is. Illegal immigration, on the other hand, puts our country at both a national security and an economic risk. We need to develop a systemic plan with a timeline for addressing the illegal immigration problem which is already in the US. Moreover, we need to secure the border so that we can stem the tide of a further influx of undocumented individuals.
Secondly, he has announced plans to increase the number of Syrian refugees coming into the United States annually from about 1,500 to 250,000. You only have to look at the photos of the refugees in Europe to see that these are not families seeking asylum. Rather they are men in their twenties, the age of military inscription. We do not have a process in place for vetting these individuals. How can we verify that they do not have terrorist ties? After all, it has already been revealed that one of the gunmen who died in the Paris attacks was the holder of a Syrian passport who had passed through the Greek Island of Leros where he was fingerprinted. The individual had arrived in Leros on a small boat from Turkey in a group of 69 refugees.
Thirdly, President Obama has also repeatedly put the United States at risk by releasing Al-Qaeda trained prisoners such as the recent GITMO detainees. These prisoners, who have an average recidivism of over 30%, usually return to the battlefield upon release from prison.
On Monday, President Obama will be meeting in Turkey for the G20 Summit with other world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron to develop a “response plan” for ISIS. Due to the pressing situation in France, President Hollande will not be present.
President Obama needs to do more to protect our country. It is imperative that he start leading on the immigration front. Stricter policies must be implemented so that we can properly vet each and every individual crossing our borders. The stakes are too great. We cannot risk the possibility of another “Night of Terror”.