London–(Updating of link that lists numerous terror incidents in France since January) The carnage in Paris was not unexpected. Experts in Europe have been warning of major terror attacks on the continent for months, and particularly on France. Most have pointed to the Islamic State as the likely, but not necessarily sole, culprit.
France itself has been on “high alert” since the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine killings last January. Other countries have warned of assaults throughout the year. Expecting attacks doesn’t mean they will all be preempted.
Europe is in a way getting used to it, the way in some Middle East cities, notably Beirut, have come to terms with the potential of terrorism exploding in a neighborhood at any time. The French will undoubtedly put on displays of unity and defiance, but also, unlike in the United States whenever some similar jihad attack occurs, there will quickly be a debate about French foreign policy. France has entered the bombing jamboree in Syria, along with the United States, the UK, Turkey and Russia.
Of course, these kind of assaults on civilians may or may not have to do with current warfare; the Paris terror might be an echo of the Charlie Hebdo controversy over cartoons of Mohammed. Or it may be, under current jihad practice, a Muslim anywhere, in reaction to any insult or grievance, can carry out an act of holy war.
Only getting used to it is hard to get used to.
Europol gave a situation report in June.
Haaretz lists this year’s attacks in France.