My first thought this morning on seeing the news was: why Paris? Why the most beautiful city in the world (it is true, not a cliché, to say that)?
During the 1980s, when I was a youngster, I used to travel occasionally to Paris on matters related to my work. I recall that several times whenever I landed at Orly or Charles De Gaulle, that would be followed by a terrorist attack. I used to, stupidly, joke that I had nothing to do with it.
Paris had several small attacks in those days, but nothing on the scale of these attacks we see nowadays. Those were the days when the Salafi Wahhabis were allies of the West in Afghanistan. Only the Russians, the Soviets, called them terrorists in those days. In the West, they were called freedom fighters. In the West, the words Mujahideen and Jihad were not dirty words yet.
Now the deed is done: the original Afghan incubator of Wahhabi terrorism is spent. It has been replaced with the Syrian (and Iraqi) incubator of Wahhabi terrorism.
Some things never change, however: petroleum fueled the Arab “Afghans” of the 1980s; petroleum fuels the terrorists of the new century. Not just financing: volunteers and weapons and, more important, a warped Salafi ideology.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum