Terrorism

APTOPIX France Truck Attack

Key developments

  • At least 84 people are dead after a truck ploughed into crowds, who had gathered for Bastille day celebrations, along the seafront in Nice on Thursday night.

  • French President François Hollande described the attack, which killed at least 10 children and left another 50 people in critical condition, as a “despicable act”.

  • The attacker, who was shot and killed by police, was named as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian national with a French visa.

  • There were no claim of responsibility by any terrorist organisation but prime minister Manuel Valls described the attacker as “a terrorist who was certainly linked to radical Islam in one way or another.”

 

Isis has claimed responsibility for a series of explosions this morning.

The seemingly co-ordinated attacks come only a day after the Belgian government warned that jihadis could respond to the arrest of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam last week.

Key developments:

  • Two explosions at Zaventem airport, one at Maalbeek metro station.
  • At least 30 reported killed, many more injured.
  • Isis claims responsibility via the A’maq news agency.
  • All flights cancelled until Wednesday.
  • Terror threat raised to highest level, multiple controlled explosions across the city.

You can follow our reporters on the ground via, this Twitter list.  

Paris atrocity exposes European security shortcomings
The Paris terror attacks have exposed Europe’s security and intelligence shortcomings and fulfilled officials’ worst fears about blow back from Syria’s bloody civil war. Ben Hall discusses the attacks and their implications with Sam Jones, defence and security editor, and Roula Khalaf, foreign editor.

Key points

  • The investigation into last week’s attacks spread across borders, with arrests in Germany as it emerged French police are hunting for not one but two surviving attackers.

  • France carries out fresh air strikes on the Syrian city of Raqqa overnight

  • Russia also steps up its air campaign as the Kremlin announces it has doubled the number of aircraft carrying out strikes against Isis in Syria.

  • Russia’s FSB says it has proof the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt last month was brought down by a bomb.

By Josh Noble, Mark Odell, John Murray Brown and Rob Minto

 

By Gideon Rachman
Ever since the late Samuel Huntington predicted that international politics would be dominated by a “clash of civilisations”, his theory, first outlined in 1993, has found some of its keenest adherents among militant Islamists.

Parisians return to work today following Friday’s attacks, which have left at least 129 people dead and many more wounded. A state of emergency remains in place.

France has responded with a series of police raids at home, and stepped up air strikes against Isis in Syria.

Key points

  • François Hollande declares: “France is at war” and tells French parliament he will seek permission to extend state of emergency declared over the weekend for three months

  • Barack Obama, speaking at the G20, again rules out large US troop presence in Syria

  • French jets have launched strikes on the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, Syria

  • Police raids, more than 150, have been carried out across France, Belgium. Many arrests made

  • Three attackers have been positively identified, all French nationals

  • UK prime minister David Cameron vows to build a case for expanding British air strikes into Syria

  • French police hunt for suspect named as Salah Abdeslam, 26, a French national, and brother of one of the dead bombers

  • A minute’s held silence across Europe

By Mark Odell, Henry Sanderson, Josh Noble and John Murray Brown

 

Following the deadliest terrorist atrocity in a western city in more than a decade, security and border controls have been tightened across Europe. France is in a state of emergency, and security forces across the continent are scrambling to track down those involved in the plot, which French president François Hollande described as “an act of war” in a television address.

Key points

  • The French police are looking for a suspect named as Salah Abdeslam, 26, a French national, who is still on the loose
  • Two of the attackers are believed to have been French nationals who lived in Brussels
  • Belgium authorities have arrested at least five people in relation to a car with Belgian number plates found near the scene in Paris
  • A further suspect has been identified as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old Frenchman, known to the authorities. Six of his relatives have been detained by authorities, including a brother who said that he had had no recent contact with Mostefai
  • The attacks were carried out by at least seven gunmen in three co-ordinated teams
  • Isis claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement on Saturday saying “this is only the beginning of the storm”
  • 132 people were killed and 349 wounded in a series of co-ordinated attacks on Friday night
  • There will be a minute’s silence across Europe tomorrow at 11am
  • For a full round-up of the FT’s coverage as well as the best from the rest of the web see FirstFT

By Emily Cadman and Joseph Cotterill

 

A series of co-ordinated attacks across Paris has left more than 120 people dead with Isis claiming responsibility.

French President François Hollande has declared a state of emergency and deployed the army around Paris in response to one of the deadliest terrorist atrocities in a western city since September 11 2001.

By Mark Odell and Josh Noble

 

Turmoil in Turkey
Turkey suffered its worst terrorist attack at the weekend, but rather than uniting the country in grief, it has exacerbated suspicions that the ruling AK party is intent on stoking ethno-sectarian tensions ahead of next month’s elections. Ben Hall discusses the crisis with Daniel Dombey and David Gardner.

Tunisia is a small country with a population of just less than 11m. But it has played a big role in the upheavals that have shaken the Middle East.

It was in Tunisia that the popular uprisings against autocracy that became known as the “Arab spring” began in December 2010, setting an example that shook the region.

Zine el-Abidene Ben-Ali, Tunisian president, became the first autocrat to be toppled when he fled the country in January 2011. Mr Ben-Ali’s fall helped to electrify the rest of the Arab world as slogans and ideas that had first appeared in Tunisia spread to countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria and Bahrain.

Four years later, Tunisia is still important — but for different, sadder reasons. Read more

George W Bush famously said that he had looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and “got a sense of his soul”. Maybe he did – for the former US and current Russian presidents are beginning to look like soulmates, when it comes to the idea of a “war on terror”. Like President Bush, President Putin has decided to deploy his country’s military in the Middle East, as part of a war on terrorism. And like President Bush, the Russian leader has argued that he is engaged in a struggle on behalf of the whole civilised world, while appealing for global support. Read more

Terror attacks hit Tunisia’s economy
Last week saw the second deadly attack on Western tourists in Tunisia in four months, dealing a severe blow to the industry that is the country’s economic mainstay. Siona Jenkins is joined by Erika Soloman and Roula Khalaf to discuss what the government can do to tackle the jihadi threat.

Despite a collective show of mourning for the assassinated opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, the prospects for Russia’s anti-Putin movement remain bleak

In one of his last interviews days before he was murdered, Boris Nemtsov told the FT that Russia had become a “country of war, of humiliated, hypnotised people” and that Putin had “brought Nazism into politics”

The egregious anomaly of the non-dom status, where the wealthiest enjoy the privilege of UK residency without paying their fair dues to the exchequer, should be scrapped, says the FT

Anatomy of a Killing: How Shaimaa al-Sabbagh Was Shot Dead at a Cairo Protest (Vice News)

‘Jihadi John’: a graduate of my radical London university, a place where extremism can fester and Islamist views were prevalent (Washington Post) Read more

How strong is the Islamic State?
Islamist terrorists have grabbed headlines in the Arab world with horrific atrocities, but there are signs their influence may be on the wane. Gideon Rachman discusses the extent of their power with Borzou Daragahi and David Gardner.

  • Greece’s privatisation programme, ordered under the terms of its international bailout, was falling far short of targets even before the country’s new left-wing government vowed to scrap further sales of state assets
  • Following Isis’ brutal execution by immolation of captured Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, many in the country have called for a deeper military commitment against the jihadist group
  • Foreigners are leaving Russia in unprecedented numbers, reflecting a worsening economic outlook as western sanctions bite
  • The west’s inability to comprehend how Vladimir Putin sees the world means it has trouble thinking constructively about how to deal with him (The American Interest)
  • A convicted al-Qaeda operative has claimed that more than a dozen prominent Saudi figures were donors to the terror group and that a Saudi diplomat discussed with him a plot to shoot down Air Force One (NYT)

 Read more

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By Gideon Rachman
The “global war on terror” was shot down in a hail of ridicule. Sceptics scoffed that President George W Bush’s GWOT was not global and it was not a war — since terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy. On taking office as US president in 2009, Barack Obama quietly dropped the term.

France has been through a traumatic period following a spate of terror attacks that killed 17 people, which led to a wave of demonstrations by millions of defiant citizens in response. In the latest edition of the FT World Weekly podcast, Gideon Rachman is joined by Hugh Carnegy, a former Paris bureau chief, and Michael Stothard, one of the FT correspondents who covered the aftermath of the attacks, to assess the wider impact of the events and discuss whether France can ward off the forces of polarisation.

By Gideon Rachman
A couple of days before the terrorist attacks in Paris, a book arrived at my office. I placed What’s Wrong with France? by Laurent Cohen-Tanugi on the shelves, alongside a line of similar titles: France on the Brink, France in Denial, France in Freefall and France’s Suicide.

 Read more