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Manoj

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  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
    • Being from India, where we see around 3-4 big terror attacks (killing > 25 people, targeting a leader etc) and maybe a hundred smaller ones (destroying property, raping women, killing a few individuals) a year for past several years, I think :

      In the bigger attacks, their targets are chosen to attract maximum media attention and help recruit malcontents. After such attacks, they claim responsibility and show themselves as martyrs to other 'believers'. In this the article gets it right.

      In the smaller ones, their targets are chosen almost at random, to 'keep the flock together' i.e. those who may have qualms, and also test their troops. After such attacks, they never claim responsibility and try hard to slip away un-noticed.

      Maybe Paris being on high alert for terror attacks made them scale down their targets? I do not buy the argument that attacking a school would turn off their potential recruits - as can be seen in Nigeria, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma etc.

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