The horrific news out of Paris tonight just gets worse and worse. The death toll seems certain to rise to several dozen, at least, and it’s unclear if we know the extent of what was a coordinated, sophisticated attack on several sites. The nation’s president, Francois Hollande, reportedly was attending the friendly match between Germany and France when at least two explosions took place at the stadium — raising the possibility these attacks were intended not only to kill as many people as possible, but to be the kind of spectacular atrocity favored by al-Qaida.
With reports that gunmen were also shouting that they were getting revenge for Syria, though, ISIS can hardly be ruled out. That’s particularly true when you consider the Paris attacks follow right on the heels of (among others) bombings in Beirut that killed at least 43, wounded more than 200 others and were claimed by ISIS; the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt in which 224 died and for which ISIS has claimed responsibility; and ISIS bombings in Baghdad today that killed at least 26. As I was writing, there were unconfirmed reports that an arrested terrorist claimed to be part of ISIS.
One need not be alarmist to point out the possibility other attacks in other locations, including perhaps the U.S., may be on the horizon.
So, tonight, pray for the victims and their families. But starting tomorrow, be ready for a different tone in conversations around the world about how to confront the evil that is all too willing to confront us.