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By Al Emid

Journalist Broadcaster and Author: What You Need to Know About ISIS – Terror, Religion and the Caliphate 

As a journalist one gets accustomed to wide-ranging and often contradictory analyses of news events. However sometimes you have to stop and wonder …

While working through the overnight news stories, I encountered a bleak analysis which, if correct, has troubling implications for 2016.

A France 24 report this morning includes interviews with named and unnamed analysts who suggest a grim outlook for 2016 in terms of the fight against terrorism. The report quotes an unnamed ‘French senior counter-terrorism official’ who told Agence France Press that ‘Unfortunately I think 2015 was nothing.’

Terming the tragedies of 2015 as ‘nothing’ seems almost a travesty of terminology and an insult to those who lost loved ones.

France suffered hugely in 2015 with three days of carnage in January including the attack on Charlie Hebdo Magazine. That tragedy claimed 18 lives. In November, assailants killed 130 people in what is frequently termed the deadliest assault in France since the second World War.

The unnamed source predicts that terrorists will mount simultaneous attacks on the same day in several countries. “We know that terrorists are working on this,” the source says.

The France 24 article quotes another source – this one named – as terming the 2015 attacks as ‘amateur’.

That seems difficult to comprehend: all of that loss of life and carnage being termed ‘amateur’.

Yves Trotignon, a former member of France’s intelligence service pointed to the fact that some of the attackers at the Bataclan Theater actually ran out of ammunition, thus reducing the number of lives that could have been lost.

And at the Stade de France ‘the bombers were unable to get into the stadium,’ Trotignon recalls adding that the suicide vests with which three of the bombers blew themselves up were less lethal for bystanders than hoped and one of them failed to detonate.

Trotignon tells France 24 that terrorists learn from their mistakes and that they will work to reduce the traces left by cellular telephone and internet communications.

Honest projections or fear-mongering?

We cannot know until the year unfolds but during 2015 terrorists demonstrated an increasing ability to mount large-scale, spectacular – and hugely attention-getting attacks. And Trotignon no doubt knows whereof he speaks when he says that terrorists learn from their mistakes.


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