The attacks in Paris confirmed what French security services have feared for months: that the country would be targeted by another devastating attack like the deadly spree that left 17 dead in Paris in January.
In the 11 months since a trio of gunmen shook the city with that series of shootings, the French government has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect sensitive targets and repeatedly boosted its surveillance powers to protect itself.
But yesterday’s shootings and explosions across Paris illustrate the difficulty authorities in France and elsewhere face in containing a diffuse but deadly terror threat.
They also underscore the security challenge France will face when a global summit on climate change begins at the end of the month. The government this week decided to restore border checks during the summit, the first time it has taken that step in years. Over 100 world leaders are expected to attend the opening of the summit.
The attacks in Paris that killed at least 120 people in Europe’s worst terrorist bloodshed for more than a decade will elevate the challenge of combating militant groups such as Islamic State to the top of the agenda at this weekend’s G-20 summit in Turkey.
The sophistication of the assault — involving bombs, high-powered assault weapons and hostage-taking across different venues — will broaden the planned discussion on terrorism at the meeting, according to Nick O’Brien, associate professor for counter terrorism at Charles Sturt University in Canberra.
“After an attack like this I wouldn’t expect it to be much about deradicalization,” O’Brien said. “I would expect the focus to be on the tough end of security — how to cooperate, better communicate. If we have someone we suspect in our country, do we tell you and how do we do that?” …
One immediate concern is ensuring the safety of delegates at the Turkey summit and a key climate-change conference in Paris that starts late this month.
”There will be a complete review of security” for the G-20 and the Paris climate talks, O’Brien said. ”The people responsible for looking after the safety of leaders will want to know what extra precautions will be taken. The events may be held at completely secure venues. The leaders won’t even see Paris.”