Paris: Answers s’il vous plaît

Erin Khoo
4 min readNov 14, 2015


My heart goes out to all of Paris and France. What Barak said earlier “this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” should resonate with everyone.

When I first heard of the attacks there were still 60+ hostages in Le Bataclan. I don’t have a timeline of the attacks but it was apparent from the stream on twitter that there were people being murdered in the streets before or at the same time as the concert by Eagels of Death Metal, the police did the right thing in storming the concert venue. The intent of the people that opened fire within Le Bataclan a few minutes after the Deftones left, was evil and would not respond to negotiation. I just hope the rescue assault was conducted by the GIGN.

From what I can piece together now the attack was organised and assault weapons were used. I suspect AK-47s not because they are synonymous with terrorism but because they are the most widely available 7.62mm rifle. The photos I have seen online of people laying in the streets covered with cloths seem like they didn’t have a chance, the mark of a high calibre weapon. #JeSuisCharlie

Question 1: How did the seven+ assailants get hold of automatic weapons?

The Six locations:

Le Bataclan; concert venue -4 shooters, targeting a full theater of people. Band members don’t appear to have been the targets.

Stade de France; sports stadium -2 suicide bombs, another outside the stadium.

Le Carillon Bar; 10th district -shooting

Le Petit Cambodge Restaurant; 10th district -shooting

La Belle Equipe Restaurant; 11th district -shooting

La Casa Nostra Restaurant, 11th district -shooting

Question 2: Was the bombing of the football stadium a diversion for the hostage-taking and murders in Le Bataclan?

The Islamic State & Communication:

I am more worried than ever there is a meta-game being played the public are not being made aware of. There is knowledge and actionable intelligence that probably could have prevented this event of Friday the 13th.

Question 3: How could it be possible for seven to nine assailants to coordinate and execute an attack in a major European city with no preventive measure by the governments of the world. What is missing here?

This hard to understand organisation known as the Islamic State is not magically reaching into the west. They have been around for over a decade and have setup a seemingly long-term plan to cause terror on other countries soil. The next obvious targets regrettably would be other major cities.

Update 16/11/2015 — [ISIS Annual Report 2014 review]

Question 4: How are they communicating and reaching new followers?

This group are winning the hearts and minds of young followers that then get made part of the Islamic State. They must have a very robust recruiting network and they must be doing it initially online. After this I have no idea how people that are interested in their ‘cause’, then become made extremist killers. There must be human contact, influence and training happening.

Update 16/11/2015 — [How they are communicating]

Question 5: Where and how are new members of I.S. being trained?

No amount of bombing Syria is going to help this problem. Islam is not the problem; the jihadist that are committed to causing this kind of terror really should stop and read the Holy Quran. Which promotes meditation, tolerance and love for humanity.

The intelligence community needs to target the recruitment process and key figures. I also can’t explain where the financing for I.S. is coming from, surely the CIA et al can follow the money.

Update 16/11/2015 [Where the money is coming from]

I don’t quite know why I am writing this. I feel so hurt for the people of Paris. Let us use the following days and moments in the future to practice love, patience, acceptance for all. Be kind to one another, be safe, be playful, buy some rando a drink, high five a stranger, hug someone, Tinder like mad.

If you think Paris was the city of love before this. It most certainly is from here on out.




Erin Khoo

AIML Senior Product Manager @ Workato 👨🏻‍💻🦾📈