PLANO - Friday's terror attacks in Paris rattled the world, leaving everyone, everywhere shocked, saddened and wondering why this horrendous act of violence unfolded.
University of Texas at Dallas professor Dr. Paul Diehl is an expert in international conflict. He sat down with NewsFix to provide some perspective and insight.
NewsFix: Why France?
Dr. Paul Diehl: "France is part of the coalition that is bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq and that makes it an obvious target. Second, France has a large somewhat radicalized community in the Paris suburbs and that becomes a source of potential recruitment for them. The third reason is that France is much more accessible than for example Russia or the United States."
NewsFix: Is ISIS getting stronger?
Dr. Diehl: "On the one hand it’s a sign of the strength and spread of ISIS that they could actually pull off an operation away from Iraq and Syria. At the same time, terrorist groups usually carry out actions because they are weak in a conventional way. If they are starting to shift to terrorist activities against those who are causing them problems on the ground; it may be because they are losing ground."
NewsFix: A Syrian refugee passport was found near the body of a suicide bomber, should this deter the U.S. from it’s plans to take in refugees?
Dr. Diehl: "I don’t think it’s practical. If that one individual had not been a refugee or not been allowed into France, would the attacks have not happened? I think they probably still would have."
NewsFix: How should President Obama or French President François Hollande respond to the terror attacks?
Dr. Diehl: "I would say choose your response carefully. ISIS actually want to see some type of retaliation because what they hope is that retaliation will kill civilians. So really what they are hoping for is an over reaction."
NewsFix: Could the U.S. be the next ISIS target?
Dr. Diehl: "It’s conceivable, but if you look at it, the U.S. has had remarkably few and minor and there have been a number of foiled attacks that have taken place. Compared to France or Turkey or elsewhere, the U.S. is relatively safe."