Newly available information suggests there is more than one possible explanation for what happened in Paris. The fact that a Syrian passport was found with the remains of one of the suicide attackers led many experts to believe that some of the terrorists have just arrived from Syria together with the refugees. It would appear that the bearer of the Syrian passport entered Greece in October with other refugees. Others then suggested the passport might be fake.
That changes little, since it doesn’t alter the fact the terrorist was a refugee, although at the same time one has to keep in mind the passport belonged to someone other than the terrorist. After all, how many terrorists bring their passports with them to suicide missions? Two thus far identified terrorists turned out to be French citizens, plus there is also a Belgian suspect. Several other terrorists are yet to be identified which means that they did not draw the attention of law enforcement and intelligence services and were not convicted of any crimes. Two of them, moreover, were juveniles. It means that the group was assembled only recently and did not consist of professionals, likewise the explosives used were relatively primitive. Moreover, the terrorist’s attempt to attack the stadium where Hollande was watching the France-Germany soccer match reveals ignorance of the heightened security measures at such events. Furthermore, the Belgian police raids indicate weapons for the terrorist attacks were once again procured on the black market which suggests that the earlier terrorist attacks had not resulted in any effective preventive measures.
Thus at the moment the most likely scenario is that the terrorist attacks were organized and perpetrated by individuals who were French citizens or who lived in France for a long period of time. Even if one or two of them were recent arrivals, the core of the group were French natives. That aspect of the attack was dictated by the need to obtain weapons, prepare explosive devices, reconnoiter targets, and other related activities. None of these could be accomplished by recently arrived “refugees”.
Nevertheless, the presence of refugees within the group raises the need to discuss who ordered this terrorist attack. Even though the most likely explanation is still that the terrorists were based in France and were acting spontaneously, the presence of refugees suggests that the attacks might have been ordered by actors based in Turkey or at least were perpetrated with their knowledge. The following evidence points in that direction.
If the terrorist attack was done on order, there had to be a purpose to it of some sort. In this instance, if one or more of the terrorists were refugees, it would raise a controversy over the prospect of further uncontrolled migration into Europe due to the growing fear of terrorism. Moreover, the attack took place right before the G-20 meeting in Antalya where Syria, migration, and terrorism would be at the top of the agenda, and shortly after Erdogan’s visit to Brussels in October in which he all but presented the EU with an ultimatum. EU will now continue to face the refugee flood and all of its associated problems until it agrees to adopt Turkey’s position on the Syrian problem, including the support for Ankara’s idea of a “safe zone” and a “no-fly” zone where the EU-financed and protected refugee camps would be located. Erdogan’s visit to Turkey was accompanied by leaks from “independent sources” in Turkey that some five thousand IS militants have already infiltrated Europe by pretending to be refugees. Erdogan’s ideas did not get EU’s support which simply tried to buy him off with a few billion Euro for the refugee camps. Erdogan clearly felt the rejection which followed on the heels of the US likewise turning down his ideas.
All of this means Paris and Brussels are facing a difficult choice of continuing to run terrorism risks or cooperating with Ankara. The terror attacks are now forcing them to react more swiftly, and Erdogan will no doubt use the G-20 summit to push his “security zone” idea under the guise of fighting the IS. IN actuality Turkey has not been at war with the IS–rather the opposite, and MIT intelligence service’s director Fidan has gone so far as to advocate establishing “constructive ties with the IS including opening an IS office in Ankara.” It’s quite evident that the MIT has contacts to the IS (though at first with Qatari sponsorship), which the Qatari use of Turkish territory as a rear operating base for the IS further demonstrates. Finally, Erdogan has plans to use the IS not only in the Syrian question but also in internal Turkish politics. The two recent high-profile terrorist strikes in Suruch and Stambul were indeed blamed on the IS, even as Turkey has not undertaken any serious action against the organization. Therefore there’s little doubt Ankara is using the IS to launch terror attacks to further its own political objectives.
The attack on France which is an important EU member and which will push a hard line against the IS fits into the puzzle very neatly. EU will not send troops to Syria, France’s participation in the air campaign amounted to 3% of the total number of airstrikes, but it could be induced to support Turkey’s proposals on the Syrian question, including the “security zone” and the “no-fly zone” with EU participation and financing.