Last month, French police thwarted an attempted terrorist attack at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral. Luckily, the cell of radicalized French women who were taking orders from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) commanders in Syria did not get away with it, but it seems that more often than not, they do. How is this possible?
On July 14, when the people of France were celebrating the anniversary of the liberation of the Bastille prison by secular Republican revolutionaries in 1789, an apparent lone-wolf terrorist drove a truck into a holiday crowd in Nice. Eighty-four people were killed and more than 300 were wounded, some of whom may be disabled for life.
Media coverage of the incident followed a now-familiar pattern. At first, it was reported that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian citizen living in France, had carried out the attack on his own. Initial investigations suggested that he was not religious or interested in Islam, ate pork, drank alcohol, was sexually active and perhaps had "mental problems." And, of course, the Internet was filled with claims by ISIL that it had masterminded the attack.