All of the attackers in the coordinated Islamic State terrorist assault in Paris on 13/11, who’ve had their identities confirmed thus far, were Europeans who had traveled to Syria.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, said earlier this week that the EU was dealing with an “internal threat” in regards to the recent terrorist attacks.
“Let me underline—the profile of the terrorists so far identified tells us this is an internal threat. It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security,” Mogherini said.
Who were the attackers?
French officials investigating the deadly Paris attacks have named six people they believe to have carried out the assaults.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27: A Belgian national, believed to have masterminded the attack in Paris, has fought for the Islamic State in Syria and had been wanted in Belgium for a terrorist plot that was foiled in January.
Ibrahim Abdeslam, 31: A French national living in Belgium blew himself up on Boulevard Voltaire outside the Comptoir Voltaire café.
Salah Abdeslam, 26: The younger brother of Ibrahim, Salah, again a French national living in Belgium, is believed to have rented a VW Polo car in Belgium, which was later found near the Bataclan concert hall where 89 people were killed.
Omar Ismael Mostefai, 29: A French citizen of Algerian origin, Omar was one of three attackers at the Bataclan who died at the scene. He was identified from a finger severed when he set off his explosive belt in the concert hall.
Samy Amimour, 28: The French national from the Paris suburb of Drancy was identified as one of the trio behind the Bataclan attack. He was an ISIS sympathizer and traveled to the Middle East to train with them.
Bilal Hadfi, 20: A French national living in Belgium was one of the three attackers said to have detonated his explosives at 9:53 p.m. on Rue de la Cokerie, just outside of a McDonald’s restaurant about 300 meters from the stadium.
The nationality of the unidentified attacker who used a fake Syrian passport is still unknown, and there are still many other suspects to be considered. The discovery of the Syrian passport instilled a fearful backlash across both Europe and the US, prompting several officials and many others to insist on rejecting Syrian refugees in their regions.
Though there is no disagreement that some of these terrorists had spent time in the Middle East, and then returned to Europe, it is important to note that a large portion of these suspected terrorists were European, meaning that the attacks could have still taken place even if the borders were entirely shut off for refugees. Also, the attackers’ ability to re-enter Europe could have been prevented with tighter border controls, considering the fact that many of them were on terror watch lists.
Is shutting off borders, which would create numerous problems for millions of innocent and uninvolved people, a solution or a cowardly act to shed responsibility?