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This Happened

This Happened—November 13: The Worst Terrorist Attack France Had Ever Seen

In the deadliest attack on France since World War II, 131 people were killed in a series of shootings and suicide bombings across Paris by Islamist terrorists.

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Who was responsible for the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris?

Nine members of the Islamic State (ISIS), based mostly in Brussels, carried out the coordinated attacks at the Stade de France football stadium, the Bataclan theater music venue, and a number of cafes in eastern Paris.

Seven of the attackers were shot or detonated suicide vests during the attacks, while the remaining two were killed in a police raid a few days later.

Why did they carry out the Bataclan attacks?

François Hollande, France’s president at the time, said ISIS organized the attacks with coordination in the Middle East, and help from inside France. Singling out Paris as a capital of “abomination and perversion”, as well as retaliation for French airstrikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, were cited as contributing motives in the attack.

What happened after the 2015 Paris attacks?

Following the attacks, a state of emergency was declared in France. Once civil rights were suspended, police raided almost 3,600 houses and made over 400 arrests, while the state of emergency remained until November of 2017, almost two full years later.

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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