The horrifying attacks Friday night in Paris are likely the work of the Islamic State, according to the research director of the UC San Diego Institute of Global Conflict and Cooperation.
“If you look at the targets, none of them have any political significance,” economics professor Eli Berman told City News Service. “They’re just civilians — kids at a rock concert, Cambodian restaurant, people at a soccer game.”
With a possible fourth target of a cafe, it appears to be “arbitrary violence,” Berman said. He stressed that his views were based on preliminary information coming out of France.
Authorities reported that scores of people were dead as a result of the attacks, which took place close to the site of the Charlie Hebdo massacre that occurred in early January.
According to French police, as many as 100 people had been taken hostage at a theater where a concert was taking place, and officers were met by gunfire as they approached. The band that was performing, Eagles of Death Metal, is from Palm Desert and performed Oct. 21 at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.
France and other European nations have been alarmed at the large number of citizens who have traveled to the Middle East and received terrorism training. Officials believe that two brothers who took part in the Charlie Hebdo attack were connected with al-Qaida in Yemen, which has called for attacks on Western targets.
Berman replied “emphatically, no,” when asked whether Americans should be worried here at home.
“The number of returnees here in the United States is much, much smaller, and our control of our borders is much, much better,” Berman said. “Our ability to track returnees is far superior.”
Meanwhile, former City News Service reporter Jessica Plautz posted numerous pictures and short videos on Twitter from Paris, where she was covering an AirBnB conference.
Among them were photos of “eerily quiet” streets, police with guns drawn and a family that escaped from an area inside a police barricade.
Plautz is now the Mashable travel editor.
— City News Service
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