The terrorist who killed one person and injured four others in a stabbing attack in Paris on Saturday apparently recorded his allegiance to the Islamic State in the days prior to the slaughter. The video, obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute, shows a man named Khamzat Azimov issuing a challenge to Western supporters of ISIS, calling on them to either join the group on the battlefield or carry out bloody attacks in their home countries.
“They have closed the doors of immigration in our faces, so let’s strike them in the center of their homes,” Azimov says in the video, as translated from French. “We are on the truth, despite the alliance of all these unbelievers against us, they will not fulfill their goal.”
Changing his message to address the infidels, Azimov says: “It is you who began bombing the Islamic State, so when we respond and take vengeance, you weep. If you wish to stop us, then pressure your government, and I am not the first to inform you of this, for other brothers who preceded me informed you of this before carrying out their operations…but you refrained from answering.”
The release of the video indicates that Azimov may have had ties to ISIS that go deeper than authorities first suspected. While seen as an Islamic terrorist attack from the very beginning – the assailant was a Chechen-born Muslim who yelled “Allahu Akbar” while wielding his weapon – French police did not believe he was directly involved with the Islamic State. ISIS claimed responsibility the day after it went down, but that is par for the course. Now counterterrorism officials have to contend with the possibility that Azimov was not merely inspired by ISIS, but directly trained by the terrorist organization.
Islamic terrorism has become almost commonplace in France over the last three years. Several brutal attacks have left more than 200 innocent people dead, and even the liberal Emmanuel Macron has been awakened to the fact that things cannot go on like this. But despite the government’s early attempts to de-radicalize Muslims and put suspicious mosques under surveillance, critics are not hopeful about bringing an abrupt end to the bloodshed.
In a tweet on Sunday, President Trump said it was time for countries like France to take a much harder approach to the problem.
“So sad to see the Terror Attack in Paris,” the president wrote. “At some point countries will have to open their eyes & see what is really going on. This kind of sickness & hatred is not compatible with a loving, peaceful, & successful country! Changes to our thought process on terror must be made.”
One thing is clear – whether this guy was a full-fledged member of ISIS or merely an inspired “lone wolf,” the scourge of terrorism will not end even when this wretched organization is destroyed. This is a sickness that is buried in the religion of Islam itself; we won’t see lasting change until serious reforms are made. Until then, Western countries should be wary about allowing this religion to thrive inside their borders.