Local terrorism expert weighs in on Paris attacks

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Lawrence Kuznar is a Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne. Since 2007, he’s worked on research projects for the United States Department of Defense.

“I do a close analysis of the language [used by terrorist groups],” he said. “I break it down into different themes, different ways that they use language to make a point. Then I do statistical analysis of that.”

Kuznar said he wasn’t surprised by the recent terror attacks in Paris. Over the past year, Isis has made threats to both France and the United States.

“They talked about the West as an enemy,” said Kuznar. “They have very explicitly called out France. One of their main spokesman issued a long statement calling out France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”

Kuznar said the attack on France indicates a change in direction for Isis.

“Until this point the attacks that they have executed have been within a region that they are claiming is there own,” he said “Now they’ve stepped out of that. They’re reaching to touch us in their homes.”

Even through threats have been made against the U.S., Kuznar believes we are less likely to see a terror attack carried out here. According to Kuznar, geography and culture could work in our favor.

“Our ocean still helps to isolate us from attacks,” he said. “The problem in Europe is that people are walking right in from Syria. It’s accessible. France also has a huge and ghettoized Islamic community, that we do not have here. Muslims in the U.S. are very much integrated and main stream. It’s harder to hide out.”

But Kusnar isn’t ruling out the possibility all together. He said we should always exercise caution.

“We have to accept the fact that there are things we can do to keep ourselves safer,” he said. “But we also have to accept the fact that we can’t guarantee ourselves 100 percent safety. This is a real fight. It’s a war.”

Defeating Isis is going to take a long time. But he said we have already made significant progress.

Friday the U.S. announced that a drone strike in Syria had killed Jihadi John, who’s appeared in several hostage execution videos. A day later the Pentagon announced a U.S. airstrike killed Isis leader Wisam al Zubaidi.

“We’ve taken territory back. We’re bombing areas and have killed some very significant targets,” he said. “This is how we fight this sort of thing. There’s no easy and no quick solution.”

Comments are closed.