5 Myths Regarding the Paris Terror Attacks

George Washington's picture

As usual, the politicos and talking heads are all talking their own book, using the Paris terror attacks to push their own agendas.

As shown below, they’re spouting nonsense.

Mass Surveillance Won’t Help

The NSA and other spy agencies are pretending that the Paris attacks show that we need more mass surveillance.

But the New York Times correctly points out in a scathing editorial that mass surveillance won’t help to prevent terrorism:

As one French counterterrorism expert and former defense official said, this shows that “our intelligence is actually pretty good, but our ability to act on it is limited by the sheer numbers.” In other words, the problem in this case was not a lack of data, but a failure to act on information authorities already had.


In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful. In the more than two years since the N.S.A.’s data collection programs became known to the public, the intelligence community has failed to show that the phone program has thwarted a terrorist attack. Yet for years intelligence officials and members of Congress repeatedly misled the public by claiming that it was effective.

In reality, top security experts agree that mass surveillance makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorists.

Indeed, even the NSA has previously admitted that it’s collecting too MUCH information to stop terror attacks.

Encryption Isn’t What Made Us Vulnerable

The spy agencies are also pretending that encryption made it impossible to stop the attacks.

But the Washington Post reports:

Several French outlets reported last night that a smartphone recovered near one of the massacre sites was not encrypted at all.


Hours after the attacks in Paris, Forbes quickly pointed to remarks by a Belgian official who said that Islamic State militants use the PlayStation 4's chat functions as a way to communicate securely. The article also mentioned that a Sony PlayStation 4 was recovered in a police raid connected to the Paris investigation.

That report was later undermined by the real facts — that no PlayStation 4 had been collected and that the Belgian official had been talking about the use of PlayStation technology generally by terrorism suspects.

But it was too late. Reports spread across the news industry tying the PlayStation to the attacks (there is a second wave of stories sweeping the Internet trying to undo the damage).

Tech Dirt notes:

Most of the communications between the attackers was conducted via unencrypted vanilla SMS:

“…News emerging from Paris — as well as evidence from a Belgian ISIS raid in January — suggests that the ISIS terror networks involved were communicating in the clear, and that the data on their smartphones was not encrypted.


European media outlets are reporting that the location of a raid conducted on a suspected safe house Wednesday morning was extracted from a cellphone, apparently belonging to one of the attackers, found in the trash outside the Bataclan concert hall massacre. Le Monde reported that investigators were able to access the data on the phone, including a detailed map of the concert hall and an SMS messaging saying “we’re off; we’re starting.” Police were also able to trace the phone’s movements.

The reports note that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the “mastermind” of both the Paris attacks and a thwarted Belgium attack ten months ago, failed to use any encryption whatsoever (read: existing capabilities stopped the Belgium attacks and could have stopped the Paris attacks, but didn’t). That’s of course not to say batshit religious cults like ISIS don’t use encryption, and won’t do so going forward. Everybody uses encryption. But the point remains that to use a tragedy to vilify encryption, push for surveillance expansion, and pass backdoor laws that will make everybody less safe — is nearly as gruesome as the attacks themselves.

7 of the 8 Terrorists Were Known to U.S. or French Intelligence Agencies

Just as with 9/11, the Boston marathon bombings, and other recent attacks, governments are pretending “it wasn’t foreseeable”.

But CBS reports that law enforcement sources say that 7 of the 8 terrorists were known in advance to U.S. or French intelligence services.

The New York Times confirms:

Most of the men who carried out the Paris attacks were already on the radar of intelligence officials in France and Belgium, where several of the attackers lived only hundreds of yards from the main police station, in a neighborhood known as a haven for extremists.

Escalating War Against ISIS Is Not the Only Option

I’m all for killing members of ISIS.

But given that the U.S. and its close allies – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Bahrain – are massively supporting ISIS, stopping the arming, feeding and logistical support is even more important if we want to stop these crazies.

None of the Terrorists Were Syrian

None of the Paris terrorists were Syrian. All of them were European nationals.

The German Interior Minister suggests that the Syrian passport found at the scene of the terror attacks was a “false flag” by ISIS meant to force countries to seal their borders against further refugees.

Why would they do this? Numerous security experts suggest that refugees fleeing ISIS’ “Caliphate” is a PR disaster for ISIS. After all, happy fundamentalist Muslims wouldn’t flee utopia, would they?

But we do take the risk of infiltration of refugee groups by terrorists very seriously. Indeed, the Telegraph reports today:

The mastermind of the Paris attacks was able to slip into Europe among Syrian migrants, it emerged last night, as police on the continent admitted they are unable to monitor thousands of suspected jihadists.




It has emerged that Abaaoud, and at least two of the Paris terrorists took the migrant route via Greece, intensifying fears that terrorists are able easily to exploit the refugee crisis to get to Europe.

Specifically, many of the Paris terrorists were European nationals who went to fight for ISIS in Syria, and then they slipped in with the refugees coming from Syria to get back into Europe.

So those saying that the civilians fleeing war and mayham in Syria are all terrorists are wrong … but so are those saying that the massive refugee flow poses no danger.

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SmittyinLA's picture

<-------sent letter to FBI and mossad in 2012
Warned of jihadi is using PSN for communication
Gave list of jihad gamer tags (yes they're that dumb)

koan's picture

All of these "terrorist" attacks and the responses that follow have become uniform in methodology and result.

Security agencies knew of the attackers prior to attack.
Soft targets to drive home "no safe place".
"shelter in place", I know, not much, but it's become a common phrase.
France is now implementing new "(anti-) terror" laws.

A template that can be applied to all the popular (well publicized) attacks.

And dates that resonate, for me any way.
9/11 (emergency number)
11/13 Friday the 13th
Probably nothing, but those dates make my curiosity itch.

andrewp111's picture

The migrant flow is mostly Islamic State deserters. That is why they are mostly young men of military age - they are the ISIS draft dodgers. Like all sovereign governments, the IS drafts young men into its army. Obviously, ISIS doesn't want its draft pool escaping, so it is in the IS interest to get the EU to send all the migrants back to the IS. If they want to accomplish this goal, the Paris attack is not enough. They need to have migrants conquer a German town, kill all male German inhabitants, enslave all the women, start living in the houses, and put ISIS flags on every house.

Why would they do this? Numerous security experts suggest that refugees fleeing ISIS’ “Caliphate” is a PR disaster for ISIS. After all, happy fundamentalist Muslims wouldn’t flee utopia, would they?



koan's picture

Things are not what they seem.

Jstanley011's picture

"Mass Surveilance Won't Help" - It's not supposed to help. Not against terrorism. Standard police work would thwart terror attacks much more effectively. But that's not where the resources are flowing. As a matter of fact, standard police work within the bounds of the Constitution is becoming a lost art. The blah-blah-blah about nullifying American liberty to "fight terrorism" is a product manufactured by the Propoganda Bureau of the Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste Department.

The NSA's no-expense-spared "Total Information Awareness" snooping campaign is wholly a function of the U.S. PTB's paranoia of its own citizens in the wake of their failure to disarm them. They can read a chart as well as anybody else. They've known we're headed for an economic collapse as long as anybody else. They also know it's their fault, and don't want to find themselves swinging from lampposts as a result.

Don't think they won't run your babies under their tank treads to stay in power. They will.

Delrumple's picture

It is to bad all this bandwidth is wasted on acts that have caused only about 200 deaths a year over a period of time of 20 years and 90% of these terrorists attacks were non-muslem.



Jstanley011's picture

Can you do math? 9-11-01 was fourteen years ago.

windcatcher's picture

Call 911 in case of an emergency was implemented years before the inside terrorist attacks on 9/11/01.

Is it just a coincidence that the 911 emergence number and the inside terrorist attacks have the same numeracy or was it planned that way by the inside terrorist?

Painful Facts's picture

It's too bad muhammad or whomever put all that jihad stuff in the Koran. I know it can be misinterpretated to be ordering muslims to commit violence. If you actually read it, that's not what it's saying. But  most muslims can't read! And most western christian folks either can't read or won't read the Koran to see for themselves. So it's easy to lie to both groups and trick them into doing the rich's bidding.


day after attacks ISIS made their own website saying people should use the encrypted message program Telegram. Even though it turns out the Paris attackers didn't encrypt anything? I suspect CIA controlls ISIS and is just using this as an excuse to make not just playstation look bad, but also Russian owned Telegram.

koan's picture

You can read Arabic?

It's not the Quran if it is translated.

redd_green's picture

Its a little known fact that only the top secret government officials knew:  Al Qaeda taught ISIS how to use toilet paper, AND they used it BEFORE and AFTER the attacks.    There are now secret laws on the books to oulaw toilet paper.   That will show those evil, west hater, terrorists!

Chuckster's picture

Maybe it's time for a special committee to look into what has been going on(no Mc Cain).  Have small farmers as members.


We support Saudi Arabia.  This is insane.  There is no rational explanation for this other than corruption.

redd_green's picture

Well, "We" don't, but the war mongers do.

Hope Copy's picture

'Right on the Button'

truthalwayswinsout's picture

What is clear for those who do study history is we are at war. This war is dominated by the use of spies or as the media and those with an agenda like to call them "terrorists."

The only sure fire way to thwart spies is with spies. No other methods work, has ever worked, or ever will work.

As evidenced from the facts, the information is there but there is so much information, those in charge cannot act on it. You need spies to give credence to the information in front of you.  You need spies to create false flag operations within your enemy, and you need spies to target killings.

Your choice is simple, if the vast majority of those spies who commit acts are already on your radar, winning the war is extremely easy.

Kill them and their families. The worst thing you can do to a Muslim is kill their families. That Muslim will not go to heaven and not get 72 virgins. The next worst thing is bury them in a pig carcass and drop that 50 gallon drum in the middle of the ocean.

If someone incites others to act and says such things as "Death to America" that person is found dead without any explanation. Their family is also arrested or imprisoned or killed as well. Eventually (in about 3-5 months), those spies who want to harm you will not be able to talk to anyone else for fear that they too and their family will be killed.

Such operations would cost about 1/100th of what is currently spent on the war on terror.  Because there are so few terrorists, it would only require about 5000 spies on our part.

So anyone who says we must wage a conventional war or spend 100's of billions on extra security are after your freedom.

Anyone such as Obama bin Laden who wants to bring these spies to justice is just as much an enemy as those spies who want to kill innocents.





Demdere's picture

People with excessively simple concepts tend to hyperbolate.  Upgrading your concepts will reduce the load on your language generation units.

Satan's picture

Has Obamacare taken your meds away?

bluez's picture

If privacy is abolished, only dangerous people will have privacy.

xavi1951's picture

GW - Has anyone asked, after months of fighting in Syria, this sudden rush of refugees happens? Did Obumer drop notes inviting them?

Publicus_Reanimated's picture

Absolutely nobody is paying attention to the provenance of known terrorists.  A substantial number of them have spent years in the West including childhood and adolescence.  When a future terrorist comes across the U.S. border as a refugee, we won't even know that he's a terrorist because he hasn't made that choice yet.  

Lordflin's picture

You make an excellent point... I am a home grown terrorist... according to DHS.

I am a Christian who believes in limited government, sound money, and the Bill of Rights...

What could be worse...

windcatcher's picture

Fuck  you! all real democratic Americans are terroist aganst fascist.

windcatcher's picture

Barbaric Oligarch Fascist will never change and are as ruthless toward humanity as they have been for the last 600 years. Bringing the fascist (merger of corporations with government) criminals to Justice and hanging them for treason is not the only solution.

21st Century is not a new age. The totalitarian barbarism will not only continue but will intensify.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy them while you can!

windcatcher's picture

I ponder how much longer will Zero Hedge last on the internet? My computer was attacked by annoying, disruptive advertising when I brought up your site and I had to run my anti-spyware program before I could log back on.

The NSA will, and can, fuck-up the Zero Hedge site anytime they want where it becomes impossible to read the content.

kiwidor's picture

simple. remove electricity from centres of interest (i.e. corporate-fascist computer centres)

if they deny us privacy (from all kinds of prying eyes, id theft, etc) then we deny them of their precious infrastructure which allows all payments to flow.  and all bullshit communications! 


let us dispense with the courtesy of the salon, and guard against hypocrisy...and roll everything back into the dark ages.

all violence by States hinges on a juvenile psychology, an adolescent mindset which wants to monitor, record, know everything, keep files on people.  those who facilitate this do so becasue they fear death.  we should let them know suffering instead.

JetsettingWelfareMom's picture

Can somebody please answer for me WHAT LANGUAGE the plans, messages, etc were in? Because I think a lot of NSA types think every terrorist is going to message in plain vanilla American English even though to me if they did that would be a smoking gun that it's a false flag. If I'm a french citizen and affiliated with some far out there muslim terrorist group, what language am I going to speak, plan, and write in? I'd think the one least easy to be detected by most western authorities, which is what? Arabic? Farsi? Some shit with non roman abc characters is my guess. Has translation software come a long way? Yep but not that far and that can be adapted to too. My husband is Thai and the shit google translate says he said in Thai characters is really crazy funny inaccurate. I've heard the bar girls in Thailand have gone one further, adding slang in Laos, Khmer, and dialects of southern and northern Thai to evade detection by curious western boyfriends. So if I was planning a terrorist attack tied to some fundamental middle eastern islam crap, what language would I do it in? This has got to be at least as important as encryption software....

SoDamnMad's picture

Hey Jetsettingwelfaremom

Take you one further. How to we treat Arabic translators from Iraq and Afghanistan. We hang them out to dry (and be killed) by denying them visas to come to the states, they states they risked their lives for when they moved with US troops in the field. We did that to the Montagnards in Vietnam and the Pershmuga (sorry about the spellings) in Iraq.  Use them and then fuk them over by leaving them behind. So with few translators how do we take the NSA info and use it real time.  Kind of like Pearl Harbor going down while some intelligence report about a midget sub discovered in the entrance to PH sitting in a basket on someone's desk.

WTFUD's picture

It's becoming more and more difficult to distinguish with each passing week, which set of Goons are the ' special forces ' and which one's are ISIS. Those scary all-black outfits must have been created by the same top designers like Vivienne Westwood, Versace and Stella McCartney.

Stop funding and training Terrorists, NATObankers and get your Observers out of the Middle-East; you've inflicted enough damage on mankind.

The sad thing is that the BankCorp.Gov who have created these problems will be the solution; oh that irony, turns my stomach!

We need to organise, make the necessary citizen's arrests and hang these treasonous bastards after a fair trial before they create the Last War.

Lordflin's picture

They have already created the last war.

The overture is coming to a close and the real symphony is about to begin.

Ms No's picture

"Mass Surveillance Won’t Help"

I don't know George, that may depend on what the actually motivation and desired outcome of the surveillance is to begin with.  If they are trying to intimidate citizens, identify and catagorize non-sheep and protect terror operations it seems to be working just fine.

Chuckster's picture

Our first spooks were created in 1941.  The intelligence wasn't worth a shit then and it still isn't today.  When you put people in a job with a paycheck and they don't have to produce anything..this is what you get.  Welcome to reality.  The training manual used then is still used by the CIA today.  That should tell you something.  All this hoopla about them spying on the citizens....who gives a shit...they are harmless.  Time would be better spent figuring out how to fix the country's current problems.  There will be an attack...who does it may be subject to some debate as usual. 

headless blogger's picture

After all these centuries away from Europe, does anyone want to move back to their ancestral homelands at this point?

kiwidor's picture

My ancestral homelands are the lowlands of scotland, slightly towards the west.  and french flanders.   and if one compares my physiology with certain groups in bretagne, well...the overlap is scary.  touring normandy and bretagne was like seeing a bunch of my cousins - everywhere i turned.

immigrants here from scotland routinely state that they never want to go back.  france is beautiful everywhere, but doesn't have severity of beauty that nz has.  but all things considered, it's a superior location.

you ask an impossible question.  i was born here, but am unlike the people around me.  i could dissolve into france in about a week.  but no, i would rather be part of the avant guard, in the third war of independence in the USA

Demdere's picture

I had the same experience in Scotland, I saw people looking very much like my brothers, and the landscape of the north of Scotland was so much like home.  No wonder the Scots ended up in the Applachian Mtns.

brooklinite8's picture

Things are moving too fast to even rationalize a situation and disect it to understand the root cause. One after the other, the attention span of current readers is so less that by the time you ask a question and connect the dots, there is something major happening. It seems like a planned act. I would really like a guy who knows all about this to come out and spit the eventual truth. I have good muslim friends the media is bombarding me with these events to change my mind. I would like to hear all about this on a talk radio in syria and listen their side of the story.

MatrixLinx's picture

The only reason they want a back door is so they can blackmail any Judges, Politicians, Attorneys, CEO's etc that stand in the way of their agendas.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Funny how all the staunch Constitutional Republicans railing against the Patriot Act et al ended up voting FOR it all..... all the time the NSA was monitoring Congresscritters.....   if know enough about people, know their secrets, you own them - you can get them to do whatever you want.

Does anyone make it to national political office WITHOUT having serious skeletons in their closet?  I suspect NOBODY squeaky clean is allowd to get to hold high level offices.    Dirt keeps them in check and controllable.  One FBI agent vetting judge candidates thought it odd that the truly clean ones never got appointed....    if you want to have influence over their decisions, you WANT someone who has something to hide.....

Demdere's picture

Yes, NSA has the world's largest searchable database of blackmail information, that and economic espionage are the reasons for their "collect it all" approach.




That is part of several related 'speculative pieces' 8).


Chuckster's picture

Think about Arnie had to go to France and get Baron Rothschild's blessing to run for governor.  that was enough to leave me speechless but now think about the rest of the system.

RichardParker's picture

In a corrupt society, the only electable politicians are corrupt ones...

mianne's picture


Still under the shock of Paris and Bamako attacks, we mourn the poor victims and empathize with their families, hoping the would be obvious culprits were the real ones as French RAID operations against supposed terrorists never leave any target alive who could assert their innocence or name their secret service sponsors. Yesterday, the RAID operation against a flat in Saint-Denis, blowing up the flat (and the neighbours') was justified by the assertion that a woman, the 29 year old cousin of the supposed main author of Paris attacks, had been wearing an explosive belt and committed suicide . Today, it is known, recognized by the police, that the young woman had not been wearing an explosive belt , did not explode herself, but that she was blown up by someone else ( the RAID?) . As for all the attacks, the would-be authors strangely always leave their identity cards or passports on the spot, (the exploded woman left her handbag intact on the spot with her passport inside ). How will the families react when they understand the real reason for and the real sponsors of their children's murders ?


Since 2001, we are fed up with all the false-flag attacks with false blatantly obvious culprits , the would-be chase of the would-be criminals ( some journalists compared Bin Laden's chase to Lewis Carroll's caricatural «  hunting of the snark ») , all the manipulations of opinion meant to justify a war somewhere in the world ( Afghanistan, Irak, Lybia, Syria etc …) for the sake of weapon merchants, oil robbers, and to re-launch the dollar and the world finance.


Alas, wars kindled by false flag operations necessarily followed by chain reactions tend to become huge wars , even world wars , with millions of innocent victims, while the deus ( dei) ex machina lives ( live) a grand life in some paradisiac shelter.


fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

One thing we know for certain. None of the Paris terrorrists ever read the Koran. Islam is a religon of peace and you will not find a single thing in the Koran which allows violence against non-Muslims. So these killers never not once ever went to a Mosque or read the Koran.

So Islam has nothing to do with it.


Although how is it that no matter in the world that book from Allah may find a resting place there always seems to be some asshole screaming convert or die?

cynicalskeptic's picture

The world financial system is a mess - ready to collapse.  The US is using every trick in th book to prop up the $US.....

but it all IS going to blow up.


When that happens the historical 'solution' is war - a BIG, MESSY, EXPENSIVE WAR.  


 When the rest of rhe world refuses to take $US in exchange for oil, raw materials an manufactured goods, what are your options?  You try to TAKE what you 'need' by force.  You hide your own failures by blaming others, and try to use nationalistic fervor to keep your own population from hanging you from lampposts for those failures.

 I don't see things working out well....

the grateful unemployed's picture

the NSA is gathering consumer data for means testing individuals for government benefits in a jobless society. they can define your behavior by denying you health benefits, among other things. its a brave new world.
the ACH was created to empower the corporate entity which extends support, now that entity needs a lot of information about its clients in order to distribute their limited number of resources. this economic model will apply to food shelter and transportation, eventually.
the terrorists are there to help them market the information gathering network, this is why Windows 10 has a direct link to them. if you turn if off you become a non-consumer, which is the same thing as a terrorist.
this process began in China after Tienemen Square, when the US media put pictures of the protesters on the satellite feed, where the Chinese secret police could identify the people and arrest them. then Google and Microsoft engaged in helping the government trace dissidents. the pro-democracy movement in China was and is of little consequence, however China is a centrally planned economy, they tell people where to live, how many children they can have. its the model for the American gulag for this century.
Americans demand freedom of choice, which ACH gives you. Constitutional freedoms have been out the window for a number of years. ISIS serves the purpose as the Democracy movement in China. how did that work out? ISIS is no different than your favorite NFL team, where the DOD pays for patriotic displays before the game.
the final answer to all this is to regress technologically to a level where they do not have the resources. you could rather crudely encrypt your own phone calls, and it would take them a lot of human effort to figure it out, and they don't have that. that's how you defeat them.

Bemused Observer's picture

I will say it again...We are LESS safe with all the data-collection they are doing.

Because data must be interpreted and acted on, or it is of no more value than the Kardashian's Tweets.

But they are gathering so much, from so many sources, that they can NEVER sift through it all. And the time and resources used to collect all this useless shit is taking time and resources away from doing the shit that DOES work.

They are so captivated by all their new toys that this is likely one of the BEST times to pull something, if you are so inclined. Because really, no one is paying attention. They're all huddled around the shiny new toys going, "Whoa! Look what this can do!"

Jstanley011's picture

The main way domestic law enforcement is currently using the info fed to it the by the NSA is against drug dealers. (There aren't enough terrorists around to use it against them; the primary way "terrorists" are caught in the U.S. is via FBI sting operations.) As a means of refining the system's functioning entirely outside of the country's legal system. (You didn't think they were going to come for you first, did ya?) Here is how it works:

The drug enforcement units learn via the NSA snoops that a contraband shipment is being transported from Point A to Point B in a particular white van at a particular time. Along which route, a number of fuzz just so happen to be waiting. Once spotted, a patrol car follows and finds a pretense to pull the van over and search it while calling for the backup that's thirty seconds away.

Viola! "Look at our catch, Ms. Media!"

Neither the prosecutors nor the judges nor the defense attorneys know about the origin, or even the existence, of the information that led to the bust.

Welcome to Police State U.S.A.

cynicalskeptic's picture

It's NOT about 'keeping us safe' from outsiders - it's about CONTROLLING your own population.  'Terrorism' is the all purpose excuse to suspend rights and spy on everyone, while expanding police powers.  

That way when the population realizes they've beel betrayed by their leaders, that they've been bankrupted and led into serfdon, they won't be able to rise up against their 'leaders'.

'When tyranny comes to these shores it will be in the guise of protecting us from a foreign threat' - James Madison

the grateful unemployed's picture

the less safe you are the more you need them

eyesofpelosi's picture

Tyranny wishes you all