French Muslims hold an Islamic flag and a banner reading "Do not touch my prophet, anything but the Messenger of Allah" as they gather in central Paris January 18, 2015

commentary

(Slate)

January 23, 2015

Eight Lessons from the Charlie Hebdo Attack

French Muslims hold an Islamic flag and a banner reading "Do not touch my prophet, anything but the Messenger of Allah" in central Paris January 18, 2015

Photo by Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

by Brian Michael Jenkins

What can we learn from the recent terrorist attacks in Paris? Here are eight lessons.

1. Terrorism has many audiences. The terrorist attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris caused worldwide revulsion, provoked denunciations by Muslim leaders, and prompted millions to march for the right of free expression, which, according to French authorities, was the largest demonstration in French history. In other words, from the terrorists' perspective, the bloody attack was a great success....

The remainder of this commentary is available on slate.com.


Brian Michael Jenkins is senior adviser to the president of RAND Corp. and the author of “The Dynamics of Syria's Civil War.”

This commentary originally appeared on Slate on January 23, 2015. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.