From the Editor’s Desk: December 2015

Dear Reader
The incidents that shook the world this month were undoubtedly, the terrorist attacks in Paris on the evening of Friday, November 13, 2015.
A series of structured terrorist strikes led France to declare a state of emergency. Three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants and a music venue in Paris. The attackers killed 130 people while over 350 sustained injuries. Seven of the attackers also died, while authorities continued to search for accomplices… a trail that has led them to Belgium.

It is said that the attacks were the deadliest on France since World War II, and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004. John Miller, of the NYPD, told CNN, that the Paris attack resembled the Mumbai terrorist attack in terms of low-cost low resources and carried the various features of the 26/11 attack.

The attackers, all of Arab and Muslim descent, were very young, ranging from 20 to 26 years old. All were born in Europe, either France or Belgium. And all were well known to indulge in things like drinking alcohol, going to bars and clubs, selling drugs and involvement in petty crimes.

The terrorist attacks in Paris have produced a backlash on Muslims around the world and a lot of questions have been raised about ways to fight this perversion of a religion that does not endorse attack on defenceless civilians.

RasheedAbou-Alsamh, a Saudi journalist, wonders about how all of these young people make the transition from being non-religious to becoming extremists who want to blow up everything in the name of their religion and as revenge for what they see as attacks on Islam and the Arab world, especially the bombardment of Syria by France and Russia. The terror group which is said to have undertaken the Paris attacks, has a very long and powerful reach, recruiting young Muslims in Europe through the Internet. After attracting them, the group brings these young people to Syria to be trained and turns them into killing machines. It is unfortunate that a group of extremists, like those of ISIS, ISIL or Daesh etc. can cause so much damage against innocent civilians and against Muslims around the world. This madness needs to be stopped as it is not in the least representative of moderate Muslims.

I would agree with Rasheed, as I too have Muslim friends who I have known for years and who I can vouch would never stand-up for violence that kills helpless people.

The Paris attacks have also become the backdrop of deliberations at most security conferences that are happening around the world. India too, and New Delhi in particular has its fair share of security industry events lined up in the next few weeks, as I head for the ASIS India Security Conclave, The FICCI conference on Private Security Industry, SWI Conference on Policing Skills, The PHD Chamber’s event on Electronics in Security and IoT, followed by the IFSEC India exhibition, and lastly the flagship event of the industry, The SECURITY TODAY Knowledge Summit.

Till we meet again, next month, I wish you a very happy, prosperous and above all, a SAFE 2016.
Cheers and happy reading

G B Singh

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