While we are in shock and grief about the carnage in Paris, Islamic State terrorists and their sympathisers are celebrating the death of innocent people. It is a terrorist act not only on France but on humanity, and those who are behind it have no right to exist in the civilised world.
The horrific attacks on different locations in Paris must have been meticulously planned for some time to cause maximum death and terror among innocent civilians. It was a highly sophisticated operation and needed lots of coordination and intelligence inputs by a strong organisation that could get its sleeper cells active whenever it ordered.
It is a condemnable terrorist act carried out by terrorists who have no respect for human life. It came after the US announced the targeting of “Jihadi John” in Raqqa, the IS headquarters in Syria. It also comes after suicide bomb attacks in Beirut that left more than 300 people of different faith and nationalities dead and injured.
It also brought back memories of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai when terrorists came to kill and die.
It is chillingly similar to the Beslan school siege of 2004 in Russia and the London underground and Madrid train murders to name a few. It is a replica of the attack and counter-attack pattern which leads to more provocative measures while these terrorists and perpetrators get off scot-free.
We are aware terrorists know no boundary, religion or nationality. They are merely criminals driven by their own ideology, which was taught to them in the caves of Tora Bora and other terrorist safe havens.
The Syrian refugees in Europe draw attention to the magnitude of the humanitarian catastrophe faced by Syrians for the past four-and-a-half years. Homes uprooted, people decapitated, kids taken into training camps, girls enslaved and raped. They did not even spare our heritage.
When Europe opened its doors to other nationalities, the terrorists took advantage and sneaked into Europe along with the refugees to create havoc and terror across national capitals. Many mercenaries from Europe too returned, well trained and ready to kill and act independently in a new trend of mobile terrorism.
IS or Daesh has threatened to attack many Western capitals and it has proved again that it is capable of striking anytime, anywhere.
Mercenaries were allowed to travel freely into Turkey and then into Syria, to join terrorist groups, and they are now using the same route to return home, fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
According to reports, 500 French terrorists returned from Syria and Iraq. Many other European nationalities also went home. The authorities are trying to rehabilitate some, while others are waiting to act once their “masters” issue orders.
How long will we wait before we address this crisis seriously? How many innocent people must be sacrificed before we jointly act to defeat these evil forces and eliminate the infrastructure of terrorism?
But we must avoid provocation, revenge and cosmetic measures. We need surgical operations.
There is no good and bad terrorism. No country can defeat it alone and hence we need to act together now.
(Waiel Awwad is a Syrian journalist based in Delhi. He is a West Asia expert, has covered several conflicts and has been a commentator for major news channels)