A chilling terror warning in Paris
Good news: The car belatedly found to hold seven loaded gas canisters, parked Wednesday outside Paris’ historic Notre Dame Cathedral, didn’t directly threaten any lives.
Bad news: Police believe it was
a test run for the new wave of “booby-trapped cars and explosive devices” predicted by the head of French intelligence last May.
There was no immediate threat because the car contained no explosives or detonators. Yet the vehicle — with hazard lights blinking and no license plate — went unreported for nearly two hours, though it sat in a zone where all parking is forbidden.
Amazingly, one security official blamed public-safety “forces who are tired.” Not as tired as they’d be if it were an active bomb.
After all the attacks France has seen these past 15 months, starting with the Charlie Hebdo massacre, how many wake-up calls do French officials need?
As it is, the car’s owners were quickly identified as pro-ISIS figures on France’s terrorist watch list and taken into custody.
All this, just days after the revelation that ISIS planned a Europe-wide terror operation last November: attacks in several countries with followup strikes in different cities.
In the end, the terrorists struck “only” at three locations in Paris, including the crowded Bataclan theater — killing 130.
This is scary stuff, especially as ISIS is increasing its international reach as it loses territory in Syria and Iraq. Analysts also say its planning has grown more sophisticated, using encrypted apps like Viper and Telegram.
That this “test” car went unreported for so long is chilling proof that jihadis don’t even have to actually strike to instill terror.