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Paris Attacks: ISIS or amateurs?

 
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2015 01:24 pm
The American television news media as well as the political class driven by and driving it, can't stop talking about how the Paris attacks and other recent events demonstrate ISIS's "expanded capabilities" as well as their "new strategy" emphasizing attacks on the West. The assertion is that ISIS is coming for your grandmother and something must be done, quick.

Quite aside from the fact that suicide bombings of Hezbollah affiliated neighborhoods of Lebanon are nothing new and are in response to Hezbollah's entering the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad government; or that the bombing of a Russian passenger jet (if it was a bombing) was in response to stepped up Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war; or that ISIS routinely claims responsibility for terrorist attacks they had little or nothing to do with (e.g., the earlier Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris)... quite aside from all this, might we pause for a brief moment in an attempt to determine whether ISIS is in fact responsible for the Paris attacks, and what level of "capabilities" they actually demonstrate?

First of all, the attackers, though they did speak to police during the hostage incident at the Bataclan concert hall, and did say that the attacks were revenge for French air strikes in Syria, did not claim ISIS affiliation or even mention the group. There has been no release of prerecorded "martyrs'" videos making any such association.

The statement issued by ISIS claiming responsibility for the attacks contains no information identifying the attackers or giving any details not in public media reports. It also erroneously claims an attack in France's 18th Arrondissement (district), which happens to be the main Muslim quarter of Paris, and where no attack took place:

http://www.vox.com/2015/11/14/9734794/isis-claim-paris-statement

Curiously though, it was mentioned in early media reports, in a way that someone for whom English is a second language, or even a careless but literate reader, might mistake for an indication of such an attack:

"On Twitter, this offer came from the 18th Arrondissement, the district south of the Stade de France where multiple explosions were reported during a Germany-France soccer match..."

https://www.takepart.com/article/2015/11/13/paris

Someone unfamiliar with the political geography of Paris and who had no inside knowledge of the attacks might misunderstand this to say that multiple explosions were reported from the 18th Arrondissement.

The ISIS statement also talks about precisely chosen targets and simultaneous attacks, though we will see that neither is true.

The Wall Street Journal offers a useful map and accurate timeline which can be used in reference:

http://graphics.wsj.com/paris-attacks-timeline/

Suicide vests are among the weapons which CNN and other media inform us require sophisticated manufacture. How effective were these weapons?

At 9:20 a suicide bomber near Gate D of the Stade de France killed himself...and a single passerby.

At 9:30 another suicide bomber near Gate H of same killed only himself.

At 9:40 another suicide bomber at a crowded cafe killed only himself.

At 9:53 another suicide bomber 400 meters from the stadium kills only himself.

Contrast this with the suicide vest explosions in the Middle East that are deadly effective.

As for the drive-by shootings, look at the WSJ map and note that they all involved a black SEAT car driving back and forth along an almost linear path. These began at a Cambodian restaurant at 9:25 and ended at a bar at 9:36, hitting another bar along the way.

At 9:40, twenty full minutes after the first attack, with plenty of time for police reports and all-points bulletins, gunmen still driving a black car (this time a Volkswagen Polo) entered the Bataclan concert hall. There they dithered until 12:20 nearly three hours later, when the police stormed the hall, apparently after the attackers began shooting concertgoers "like birds" while standing at a far wall. At that point the shooters either blew themselves up or were shot; in any case, here as elsewhere most of the carnage was caused by rifles easily available in Belgium.

Belgium seems to figure largely in the attack, as in the earlier attacks in Paris, which might through its proximity explain why elements of the same or another radical cell there might choose Paris as a target both conveniently accessible and splashy, with a recent history of successful terrorist attacks by other recent Islamic fundamentalists.

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puzzledperson
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2015 03:09 pm
@puzzledperson,
MSNBC just televised a segment featuring Kevin Baron, the national security/military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, who is also the Executive Editor for Defense One.

Baron told viewers that France's retaliatory air strikes against "ISIS targets" in Raqqa are new: that previously France has only been conducting air strikes in Iraq, not Syria.

But the New York Times reports that France bombed Raqqa on October 8th, less than a week before the Paris attacks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/16/world/europe/inquiry-finds-mounting-proof-of-syria-link-to-paris-attacks.html

Was this a trigger for the attacks?

MSNBC also reports that among the "ISIS targets" of its retaliatory air strikes in Syria of the last two days, are included about a hundred oil trucks carrying black market oil. ISIS routinely sells oil from production facilities under its control to neighboring countries, most notably Turkey.

Presumably, rather than engage in time consuming and risky transfers of oil from ISIS trucks to Turkish trucks at the border of Syria and Turkey, which might be detected by Turkish customs or other law enforcement, Turkish drivers use their own trucks for pick-up of black market oil. If so, France has just incinerated a convoy of Turkish oil smugglers.
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2015 08:28 pm
@puzzledperson,
The Wall Street Journal reports that the air strike against the oil trucks was carried out by the U.S.:

"It was the first time the U.S. military has conducted a strike on vehicles used to transport oil. The military had held off on such action in the past because of concerns about killing civilian drivers of the trucks who may not be members of Islamic State.

"The military attempted to alert the drivers to impending strikes by dropping fliers directing them to get away from their trucks first."

http://www.wsj.com/articles/french-airstrikes-in-syria-may-have-missed-islamic-state-1447685772
puzzledperson
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2015 09:15 pm
@puzzledperson,
So far, all but one of the seven Paris attackers thus far identified, were either French or Belgian. An eighth man sought in connection with the attacks is Belgian.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/56488d01e4b0603773496f39?c4gnl8fr

The one exception is of unknown background. A Syrian passport in the name of Ahmad Almohammad was found either on or near the body (depending on the news reports); U.S. intelligence officials have said that the passport numbers are not correct and that the picture shown doesn't match the number. Some news reports claim that the Greeks identified the body from fingerprints provided by the French as belonging to a refugee who entered Europe from Turkey via Greece on October 3. Other reports (from an English language Greek website) say only that Greece sent a copy of the fingerprints they took, to the French authorities for comparison with the body. Greek authorities place the passport holder on a ferry to Athens at the same time that Serbian authorities place the passport holder at a border crossing with Macedonia. Serbian media also reports that another man with a passport having the same name and personal information was arrested Saturday the 14th, after the attacker in France was dead.

At this point, then, conflicting reports make it difficult to say whether "Ahmad Mohammad" entered Europe as a refugee or not, much less his background.
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2015 09:25 pm
@puzzledperson,
P.S. The WSJ article doesn't explain how A-10 fighters or AC-130 gunships managed to drop paper flyers warning oil truck drivers to run away before they got incinerated, from fast and/or high flying planes, with any degree of accuracy, or whether anyone was observed running away. I suppose if you're a reporter for the Wall Street Journal these kinds of questions simply don't arise.
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2015 02:10 am
@puzzledperson,
PARIS (Reuters) - Fingerprints from one of the suicide bombers behind the attacks at the Stade de France in Paris matched the prints of a man registered in Greece in October, a French prosecutor said on Monday.

"At this stage, while the authenticity of a passport in the name of Ahmad al Mohammad, born Sept. 10 1990 in Idlib, Syria needs to be verified, there are similarities between the fingerprints of the suicide bomber and those taken during a control in Greece in October," the Paris prosecutor said in a statement.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0T50U420151116

This is the "confirmation". Curiously ambiguous: there are "similarities". That scarcely sounds like a definitive identification to me. Remember, this is the Paris prosecutor giving a statement at a press conference.


0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2015 03:46 pm
@puzzledperson,
Here's a video of a shootout at the Bataclan. It's clear from the audio that those shooting at police are firing semi-automatic weapons:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SBbbjVt_zac

Here's a video of the initial shooting inside the Bataclan. Also semi-automatic weapons:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CTEzQpZgIMg

These are not the sounds of machine guns or machine pistols. They are the sounds of one or more semi-automatic weapons firing. Is there any evidence that the Paris attackers carried weapons capable of firing in full-auto mode? By evidence, I don't mean statements by civilians characterizing assault rifles as such. Ideally video with audio, but at minimum specific identification of the types of rifles used (including whether they are equipped for fully automatic firing), preferably including photos.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2015 10:58 am
@puzzledperson,
What the hell difference does it make if the weapons are fully auto or not?

First and foremost the rate of fire of a semi-auto is as fast as someone can pull the trigger and if your bump fired the AR-15 you can get 200 rounds a minute out of it.

That is more then enough to clear a room.



Side note the US military no longer use fully auto AR-16s finding that a three rounds burst fired mode for the AR-16 is superior.

puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2015 12:56 pm
@puzzledperson,
"While most recognized IS specialists agree that the group’s strategic priorities are local and that almost all of its resources go into operations in Syria and Iraq, many media reports have spoken of alleged “IS plots” or “IS-linked plots” in the West over the past year."

". . . The problem with terms such as “IS-connected”, “–related” or “-linked” is that they can misrepresent the degree to which IS as an organization is implicated. Fifteen years of al-Qaida-influenced terrorism in Europe have taught us that the patterns of interaction between flagship organizations in the “East” and militants in the West can be very complex indeed. By the mid-2000s, it was clear to most observers that 9/11-style missions, in which the top al-Qaida leadership grooms an attack team and sends it to the West, were rare, and that many plots involved people with a more remote connection to al-Qaida cadres."

". . . A second, more significant finding is that the majority of IS-related plots belong in the lower end of the spectrum of organizational involvement (see Table 1). We found no plots of type 1 (training and top-level directives), and only two cases of type 2 (training and mid-level directives). By contrast, we found 17 cases of type 6 (no contact whatsoever) and five of type 5 (remote contact without directives)."

http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/440/html
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2015 01:16 pm
@puzzledperson,
You got to be kidding me and others as ISIS is ISIS and the details of their inner organization is beside the point.

They as a whole need to be wiped off the face of the earth root, branch and leaves.
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2015 01:22 pm
@BillRM,
It makes a difference what kind of weapons were used because it is indicative of the resources and organizational support available to the attackers, which in turn is important to an analysis of the attacks and of the proper response to them.

You can't fire 200 rounds per minute from a semi-automatic rifle, because by definition you have to press the trigger for each shot. If you listen to the firing rate in videos of the shootout with police outside the Bataclan or inside it in the initial attack, its clear that the rate of fire is nothing special; and that despite the fact of multiple gunmen.

Burst-fire is a mode of fully automatic rifles that allows several rounds to be fired with one pull of the trigger; you simply change the selector setting. We don't hear that in the videos. Burst-fire is useful for accuracy but in mowing down a concentrated group like the crowd at the Bataclan or even the cafe and restaurant patrons, a machine-gun or better still multiple machine guns (full-auto) would be much more effective as well as quicker.

French partisans committing hit and run attacks on Nazi patrons of cafes in the Second World War didn't use semi automatic weapons except for sniper fire and other targeted assassinations; they drove up or by with a machine gun blazing, as did gangsters in the Prohibition era. In World War One, German heavy machine guns killed and wounded tens of thousands in one day at the Battle of the Somme.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2015 08:55 am
@puzzledperson,
First in most case fully auto is not what you desire to do in a shot out!!!!!!

Fully auto is only useful in rare cases and the US military main battle rifle can no longer go fully auto for that reason.

An yes indeed by doing what is known as bumping a semi-auto rifle you can indeed have a fired rate of 200 rounds a minute and I even gave you a youtube video showing you it being done.
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 07:26 pm
@BillRM,
It's clear from your non-responsive reply that you didn't read or comprehend my remarks to you.

If you add a few more exclamation points though, you might be more convincing.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 08:29 pm
@puzzledperson,
What ever but once more the current AR-16 being used by the US military can not go fully auto and there are means to get 200 rounds a minute or so out of a semi-auto rifle as the youtube video I had posted show.

Sorry the facts do not support your pet theory that only fully auto rifles are first class weapons and because the terrorists did not used them they was ill equip amateurs.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 08:41 pm
@puzzledperson,
Quote:
Burst-fire is a mode of fully automatic rifles that allows several rounds to be fired with one pull of the trigger; you simply change the selector setting.


Once more the main battle rifle of the US military the M16A2 can not be set for fully auto fired, it is limited to single fired or three shots per trigger burst fire there is no setting for fully auto fired.

Quote:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M16_rifle#M16A2

The action was also modified, replacing the fully automatic setting with a three-round burst setting.[155] When using a fully automatic weapon, inexperienced troops often hold down the trigger and "spray" when under fire. The U.S. Army concluded that three-shot groups provide an optimum combination of ammunition conservation, accuracy, and firepower.[159]


Quote:
You can't fire 200 rounds per minute from a semi-automatic rifle,


Wrong as the video show using a semi-auto fired gun by doing what is call bumping or bump firing the gun.

Quote:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_fire

Bump firing is the act of using the recoil of a semi-automatic firearm to fire multiple shots in rapid succession, which very crudely simulates the discharge of a fully automatic firearm. This process involves holding the foregrip with the non-trigger hand, releasing the grip on the firing hand (leaving the trigger finger in its normal position in front of the trigger), pushing the rifle forward in order to apply pressure on the trigger finger from the trigger, and keeping the trigger finger stationary. During a shot, the firearm will recoil considerably ("bump" back) and the trigger will reset itself; then the non-trigger hand would naturally force the firearm back to the original position, pressing the trigger against a stationary finger again, thereby firing successive shots.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 08:59 pm
@BillRM,
Shocked Didn't know you could do that with an AR. I had a 12 ga. do something like that once when I was using 3" shells in a gun that wasn't made for it, but it was only for 2 shots.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 09:19 pm
@FBM,
Quote:
Didn't know you could do that with an AR. I had a 12 ga. do something like that once when I was using 3" shells in a gun that wasn't made for it, but it was only for 2 shots.


They now days even sell replacement stocks for less then a hundred dollars that made the bump firing of a semi auto rifle far easier and far more accurate.

In fact from the videos it seems as about the same as firing a fully auto rifle just no class 2 lic needed and a lot cheaper then buying a class 2 firearm.
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 11:53 pm
@BillRM,
Plenty of U.S. military weapons have fully automatic firing modes. This includes assault rifles (M16A3, M4A1), submachine guns (MP5, MP7), and machine guns (M249SAW, M240, M60).

Three-round burst fire is not available on semi-automatic weapons.

So-called "bump fire" is a gimmick hyped by exaggeration, including Internet videos that are speeded up, otherwise faked, or simply misrepresented in the rate of fire claimed.

"So far, for gun owners, the bump-fire devices are largely regarded as cool toys, and salesmen were cutting prices on the devices at the Lawrenceville Gun Show in order to move them.

"As one Internet commenter said, "It's a fun toy, but nowhere near as impressive as the advertisements for it will lead you to believe. No surprise really. Hence the reason why the law enforcement and security community is NOT rushing out to buy such stocks for their semi-auto rifles." "

http://m.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2013/0203/Bump-fire-devices-turn-rifles-into-machine-guns-How-is-that-legal

The Paris attackers didn't have fully automatic weapons for the same reason they didn't have properly functioning explosive vests: because they didn't have access to them. All the evidence points to an amateur operation, not to one ordered, supplied, and trained by the leadership of ISIS (not even at the middle, much less the upper level).

I'm not trying to "sell" anything. I'm just being sensible.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 01:30 am
There are also a couple of ways of converting an SKS to full-auto fire in your basement, if you're not afraid of federal incarceration. That's about all I've got to say about that.
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 01:40 am
@puzzledperson,
By no means the deadliest such incident, this Hamas suicide bomber illustrates the difference between what a militarily savvy terrorist group can do with a single suicide bomber armed only with explosives concealed beneath his clothes, and the Paris attackers suicide (not so much murder) vests:

"On Saturday, March 9, 2002 shortly before 22:30, a Palestinian suicide bomber entered the "Café Moment" coffee shop in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem at the corner of Gaza Street and Ben-Maimon Street, situated about 100 meters from the residence of the Prime Minister of Israel. At the time this was considered one of Jerusalem's most popular centers of recreation. At 22:30 pm, immediately after entering the building, the suicide bomber detonated the powerful explosive device hidden underneath his clothes. The force of the blast, which completely destroyed the shop, instantly killed 11 Israeli civilians and injured 54 people, 10 of them in severe condition."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caf%C3%A9_Moment_bombing
 

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