In western countries, Friday the 13th is associated with bad omen that was truly proved on the day before. In one of the most dastardly and immense terror attack in Paris at multiple points left some 130 people dead and over 300 injured. In a spate of about fourty minutes, there were seven attacks including suicide blasts, explosions and outright shooting at various points. Of this, the most gruesome carnage was at the Bataclan theatre where reportedly four gunmen brandishing ak-47 assault rifles opened fire and threw grenades on the crowd for almost ten minutes killing 89 and injuring hundreds of audience.
The cowardly act has been denounced world over equally by the political leaders and well known personalities from other walks of life. France has declared a national emergency and mourning for the dead, important spots of tourist attraction such as Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum etc. have been closed until further notice besides suspending Schengen agreement for visa regime imposing stricter border controls for a month. This was second major and for more severe terrorist attack on France after a shootout in the office of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on 7th January 2015 killing 11 people and injuring the same number in the building.
ISIS has promptly claimed the responsibility for the terror attack declaring that France remains their top target. Incidentally, among European nations France is well known to be on the forefront of the war against jihadists and terror outfits. Only recently, it has dispatched a carrier group to the Persian Gulf to fight ISIS. France also has the largest Muslim population in Europe and reportedly over one thousand French-speaking fighters have joined ISIS in the recent past.
This is perhaps the worst terror attack since 9/11 US in 2001and 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. The obvious fallout may be France escalating attacks on ISIS interests pressing US and other allies to do the same. This may also aggravate bitter racial ties in France and adjoining nations and even a review of refugee policy in Europe. Terrorist events in the recent times are posing ISIS as a bigger threat that Al Qaida and other terror groups. This might escalate terror activities too by these outfits to gain the upper hand.
In India, analogy is being derived between Friday’s attacks in Paris and 26/11 Mumbai attacks in motive and methodology classifying them as urban attack with a view to create maximum fear, panic and mass causalities. Terror has umpteen faces with elements of spontaneity and surprise, and such analogies hardly serve any objective. However, the most of attackers in Paris were gunmen and suicide bombers while in Mumbai attack they fought till death and one was caught alive. Besides, Mumbai attacks were sea borne and coordinated through a remote control room of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan.
Terrorism has spread its tentacles world over in the recent decades and some way or the other its cause has been served by many of the very same nations which are its victim now. Every time such crime is inflicted on humanity, there is hue and cry in the affected nation and by its sympathizers, with soon business as usual without any concrete and concerted effort. There is high time that initiatives are collectively taken by all affected nations under the aegis of the United Nations to properly define terrorism and a clear roadmap to fight it.
Terrorism is a crime against humanity and its patronage by some states to achieve certain objectives or use of jargon like good terrorist or bad terrorist to differentiate certain acts deserve equal condemnation and commensurate action against it by all nations.