Salah Abdeslam, the alleged master behind the Paris terror attacks, has been shot and captured in a Brussels police raid. Abdeslam fled France after the terror attacks and managed to cross the border into Belgium, where he was suspected of hiding out; specifically in the Brussels area. The attacks that Abdeslam supposedly had a large role in left 130 people dead; it has been reported he played a big role in the logistics aspect of the plot and drove the 3 suicide bombers to their destinations, where they would subsequently detonate their suicide vests (Source). Belgium officials believed Abdeslam was hiding out in the Brussels and that theory was confirmed when authorities finally found him after a 4 month long search. In fact, the Brussels suburb that he was captured in, Molenbeek is known to be a hotbed for Islamic radicalization (Source). According to CNN, his DNA was found in a Brussels apartment three days earlier, leaving one person dead. Authorities concluded Abdeslam was using the apartment as a hideout, which resulted in a massive manhunt for the terrorist. He was the most wanted ISIS affiliate in the world at the young age of 26.
The Paris attack was the largest operation conducted by the militant group, in terms of casualties within Europe, sending the whole word a message that they have the capabilities to attack anywhere at anytime. I watched the news coverage of the attack from the time they struck to the time the final death toll was announced. It left me realizing ISIS truly has affiliates all over the world. Most people think since ISIS mainly operates in Syria and Iraq, they are not among ISIS sympathizers or affiliates. On the contrary, ISIS has proven they have international reach and are likely to plot more brutal attacks outside of the Middle East. ISIS is the most brutal militant group the world has seen in history, leaving everyone wondering how they can possibly be stopped. The truth is: the world will never completely get rid of ISIS because it is basically impossible. Look at the KKK in the US: they are not nearly as active as they were in the 19th century, but the government and US citizens know they are still among us. This is the same case with ISIS; all we can do is hope world powers scale back their presence in the world to a minimum. This is not to say capturing Abdeslam is not a major accomplishment and triumph, because it is but we have to put this in perspective just like everything else. I am extremely happy Abdeslam has been captured because the families that lost loved ones can get more closure; however, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done in the fight against ISIS.
Contributed by R.A.