According to the information available, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. Its goal is to push France out of the US-led coalition operating in Syria and Iraq.
Yes, it was a terrorist act. But a special one – a series of well-planned and coordinated attacks on several sites at once. Overall, they say, there were six or seven attacks, involving different numbers of attackers and organized in different ways – yet clearly coordinated. In fact, we can talk about a war declared not on a single entity or agency, but on everyone.
This has put the French leadership in a very uncomfortable situation. Its political opposition – the right-wing coalition led by Sarkozy – is quite likely to try and take advantage of these terrorist attacks. But it all will depend on how the Hollande government responds to the attacks. Everyone is waiting for news on the additional security measures that President Hollande will propose.
We cannot completely rule out the possibility of terrorist attacks in Russia either. Yet, it can be argued that Russia has more experience in preventing such acts than France does, especially considering the fact that migration control is tighter in Russia, while the flow of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa is much smaller.