“For such an attack, involving so many people, it must have been decided near the highest level,” said Claude Moniquet, a former French intelligence official who heads the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center. The Islamic State’s military operation, whose senior leaders include numerous former military officials from Iraq, “would never let someone below them direct a strategic operation.”
The roots of the attacks ”” which struck France’s largest stadium, a crowded concert hall, and a series of restaurants and cafes ”” may be visible in the suspects’ path to radicalization.
While their stories vary ”” one had been a student, another a bus driver, another a bar owner ”” many came from Muslim families that were neither fundamentalist nor extreme. Their radicalization appears to have happened over just the past few years, or even a couple of months.