The passport of a Syrian refugee who passed through immigration in Greece was found near the “pulverized” body of one of the Paris attackers. I discussed these reports on Saturday and analyzed that there was a high probability that this information was some sort of psychological operation, probably by DAESH, designed to trigger a Western xenophobic backlash.
The Independent reported that Serbian police had detained a man who was carrying a passport with the same details as the one found in Paris. It is believed that both documents were created by the same forger in Turkey.
The Wall Street Journal reported that French and Greek officials had confirmed that the passport was a forgery. European officials confirmed that the dead attacker in Paris traveled from Greece to Croatia, but no other countries had records of his entry.
Meanwhile, European officials are beginning to flesh out a network of the DAESH terrorist cell that was operating in Brussels and Paris. So far, all of the suspected terrorists identified are European nationals. The suspected ringleader is a 27- or 28-year-old Belgian national named Abdelhamid Abaaoud. The rest identified so far are French citizens in their 20s or 30s. Most of the cell are believed to have traveled to Syria and returned to Europe.
This makes real sense. It is very easy for Europeans to travel in and out of Europe, and around the continent. It would be extremely difficult for a Syrian fighter to gain refugee status in Europe, move around and engage in nefarious plots. So why did a DAESH terrorist carry a forged Syrian refugee passport on his rendezvous with mass murder and oblivion?
A landmark exposé in The Atlantic in March pitched the argument, based on broad interviews, that DAESH leaders are doing their damnedest to spark a war between Islam and the West. They want to hold the banner of all Islam, from their little Yertle the Turtle perch in Syria, in this inter-civilizational war. They hope to fulfill a pedantically literal interpretation of a prophecy that a war between the 12th Caliph and Rome will begin the countdown to the apocalypse. This will happen once the army of Rome is “burned” at the Syrian town called Dabiq.
There are two pieces to this. The first is to consolidate moral leadership over Islam. The second is to convince a Western army to roll up in Syria so they can get burned. The attack in Paris was designed to accomplish both. DAESH wants to sharpen perceived divisions between Westerners and Muslims. They wish to trigger a Western crackdown against Muslims. They want Muslims to view the West as overbearing and flock to the militant protective arms of DAESH. A big crackdown would improve DAESH’s recruiting in the US and Europe. More recruits mean more bombings, which means draconian measures against Muslims, and possibly a Western invasion of Syria.
The fake Syrian passport is a smoking gun. It is an enormous piece of evidence that goes a long way to confirming this view of DAESH. By slandering Syrian refugees with a cooked up passport, DAESH hopes that Europe will torment its Muslim population. This will set the events that it wants into motion: greater division, more recruitment, more attacks, and a Western army in Syria to burn.
The Right Wing Reaction In Europe And The US Is The Exact Wrong Response.
Poland’s new far right government, which rose to power in an election with poor voter turnout (sound familiar, America?) has closed its doors to Syrian refugees. This is in contravention of its obligations as an EU member state. The Polish foreign minister even suggested that Poland could take all their Syrian immigrants, form them into an army, and send them back to Syria.
In the US, House Republicans proposed a bill that would add screening measures to new Syrian refugees to the already arduous measures that take years to process. The bill would essentially make it impossible for Syrians to enter the US.
President Obama has vowed to veto the bill — and he did.
Republican presidential candidates, particularly orangutan-coiffed front-runner Donald Trump, have promised to close our borders to Syrians because cruelty feels magnificent.
Republicans are determined to turn the safety and welfare of millions of refugees fleeing the worst violence since WWII into an election issue for cynical partisan gain.
The US is already, by far, the least generous nation among populous, prosperous Western country concerning taking in Syrian refugees. The US has taken in only 1,500 refugees in the four years since the war started. More Syrian refugees arrive in Greece every week. More Syrian refugees drowned in the Mediterranean this summer.
Republicans either know or don’t care that there is virtually no threat from Syrian refugees. The people who are genuinely fleeing the conflict pose no threat, and they are some of the most aggressively vetted relocating foreigners in the world.
The Republicans (and European right-wing parties) are playing demagogic politics, playing to the worst instincts and darkest fears of the most ill-informed members of society for political gain. Just as Jews fleeing Hitler were turned away by the US and were massacred as a result, Republicans want legitimate refugees to be killed for political power today. And this is exactly what DAESH wants them to do. The GOP and DAESH have the same goal.