U.S. on High Alert Following Paris Terrorist
Attacks - Retail Industry Should Follow Suit
Paris Gets Back to Work Amid Mourning - With Tight Security at Retailers -
Opening Bags and Unbuttoning Coats
Parisians resumed their daily routines on Monday, falling quiet for one minute
at noon to commemorate the victims of Friday’s wave of terror in the French
capital. Stores, most of them shuttered since Saturday amid security concerns,
resumed trading. Museums and cultural institutions were set to open at 1 p.m.
CET after the Ministry of Culture had ordered them shut over the weekend.
L’Oréal confirmed that Quentin Boulenger, a digital project manager for L’Oréal
Paris, lost his life in the Bataclan, where gunmen opened fire as California
rock band Eagles of Death Metal performed.
France remains under a state of emergency and the army has sent 1,000 additional
troops to patrol the city in the coming days, as reported.
Amid a tense and morose atmosphere, a plethora of fashion-related events are
falling by the wayside. Victoria Beckham postponed a personal appearance at
Galeries Lafayette scheduled for Wednesday. Gap, La Prairie and Calvin Klein
canceled press days; Loewe a cocktail party planned for Monday night in tandem
with Candy magazine; Maison Francis Kurkdjian a Wednesday event for its Marais
boutique; Isetan its Nov. 24 event the Plaza Athénée to announce a Paris
boutique project, and Tag Heuer a Nov. 30 party to celebrate its new smartwatch.
For security reasons, the lighting of Christmas decorations on tony Avenue
Montaigne, scheduled for Friday evening, has been canceled. Jean Paul Gaultier
was originally to push the button in front of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
The lighting of Christmas decorations on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, scheduled
for Tuesday evening, has been canceled too. Baccarat was to light up the ritzy
street with 12 chandeliers from the Avenue Matignon to the Rue Cambon. The
crystal maker had already set up the chandeliers, but they are to remain off for
the time being.
The city’s main department stores, including Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and
Le Bon Marché reopened on Monday. “The general mood is not good, as you can
imagine,” said a spokeswoman for the Galeries Lafayette Group, which also runs
BHV Marais, though she noted that no major changes in traffic and day-to-day
business could be observed.
Security was tight. Private security forces had closed off some of the main
exits to get a tighter grip on the foot traffic. Customers were asked to open
their bags and in some instances to also unbutton their coats.
“Yes, we are increasing security significantly, but we are not implementing
these measures in reaction to the attacks. Security is our top priority and our
top concern every single day of the year. It was already very strong,” the
Galeries Lafayette spokeswoman added.
The tragedy is bound to cast a pall over the holiday season, and crimp tourism
and spending at “what was already a difficult market for luxury goods. Paris is
the second most important city in the world for personal luxury sales after New
Could Paris Happen Here?
It’s a mistake to assume that America’s security from terrorism at home is
comparable to Europe’s. For many reasons, the United States is a significantly
safer place. While vigilance remains essential, no one should panic.
Pretty much anyone coming to the United States from Middle Eastern war zones or
the radical underground of Europe would need to come by plane, and, since 9/11,
we have made it tough for such people to fly to the United States. And it helps
that America’s two immediate neighbors, Mexico and Canada, have extremely
cooperative security authorities, which prevents would-be terrorists from
slipping across our land borders.
Then there’s the domestic challenge. It appears the Paris attacks involved both
Middle Eastern operatives and Muslims from France and Belgium. But some
high-profile exceptions aside, American Muslims are much less attracted to the
Islamic State and its ideology than European Muslims seem to be. Americans
have traveled to ISIS-controlled territories at a rate of roughly a third that
of their European Union coreligionists.
Yes, some of the worst attacks of recent years here at home have been by deeply
alienated Muslims, including Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, and the
Tsarnaev brothers, perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing. But the
incidence of such malcontents is lower than in Europe, whose larger Muslim
communities, social science data shows, are markedly less integrated.
The United States has another advantage: an intelligence, law enforcement and
border-control apparatus that has been vastly improved since the cataclysm of
9/11. Post-9/11 visa requirements and no-fly lists weed out most bad actors, and
both the Bush and Obama administrations demanded that countries in our visa
waiver program provide data on extremists through information-sharing pacts
called HSPD-6 agreements. Improvements continue, like an advance passenger
information/passenger name recognition agreement with the European Union of
In fact, America has spent more than $650 billion since 9/11 on homeland
security, or around $47 billion a year. In contrast, after the Charlie Hebdo
killings, France announced a multiyear $786 million effort to combat terrorism.
The annual budget for Germany’s entire intelligence service is $660 million.
None of this should lead American authorities, or the American people, to
settle into a false sense of security. The foremost task for the years ahead
is to double down on our intelligence collection and press our European partners
to dramatically expand theirs.
ISIS vows to attack Washington next in chilling new video and vows EVERY nation
involved in Syrian airstrikes will 'suffer France's fate' - As CIA director
warns 'this is not a one-off'
ISIS has issued a chilling new video warning that countries taking part in air
strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as Paris and threatened to
attack Washington D.C. next.
The video emerged as CIA Director Brennan told the Center for Strategic and
International Studies' annual Global Security Forum that he hoped the attacks
were a wake-up call for security services and warned that ISIS will attempt more
terror atrocities. 'This is not the only operation that ISIS has in the
In the film an armed fighter addresses the camera to say in Arabic: 'We say to
the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a
day God willing, like France's and by God, as we struck France in the centre of
its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its centre in
FBI: 900 Active ISIS Probes Currently in US
There are currently 900 “active investigations” pending against “ISIS-inspired
operatives and other home-grown violent extremists” across the United States,
according to U.S. FBI Director James Comey. The intelligence director said
during the broadcast of a Fox News Sunday special report on the Paris massacre
by ISIS last Friday that he has ordered field offices nationwide to intensify
surveillance on ISIS suspects. The investigations into ISIS (Da’esh) suspects
are being carried out in all 50 states in the U.S., Comey noted.
New York And Other U.S. Cities Tighten Security After Paris Attacks
New York, Boston and other cities in America bolstered security on Friday night
after deadly gun and bomb attacks on civilians in Paris, but law enforcement
officials said the beefed-up police presence was precautionary rather than a
response to any particular threats. Outside of New York, law enforcement and
transportation agencies said they were on high alert.
Bratton: NYPD training for event like Paris attacks
The city’s top cop called the terrorist attacks in Paris a “game changer” Sunday
morning and said the NYPD is training to deal with a similar event.
The idea that every one of these people were apparently equipped with a suicide
vest reinforces the idea that if they take hostages you have to go in because
they’re going to kill them,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said on ABC’s
Eyewitness News. He said ISIS “turned a very significant” page with the attacks
Friday that left 129 dead and more than 300 wounded because the terror group had
turned its attention to the west.
“At this point and time, their vunerabilities are minimal. They have access to
money in amounts that Al Qaeda never had. They have taken social media and
perfected how they utilize that,” Bratton said. “They’re doing something like
90,000 social media hits every day and it’s growing.”
He said the NYPD would be training to respond to an attack similar to the one in
France while gathering intelligence to stay ahead of the threat. “For the last
year or so we’ve been ramping up our abilities here to respond to multiple
events at the same time,” he said. Bratton also lashed out against attacks on
the NYPD for spying and pointed out that cops and the FBI have thwarted a number
of attempts on the city since 9/11.
We’re spying – if you will in terms of our intelligence gathering – on people
who are attempting to break the law and attempting to break the law in a way
which is extraordinarily damaging. They want to murder people. So we’re going to
be very aggressive in gathering intelligence on those people and getting them
before they kill innocents.”
White House: ISIS has ambition for U.S. attack, but likely lacks capability
President Barack Obama's national security team is sending a message Sunday that
might lend at least a glimmer of reassurance to Americans traumatized by the
terror attacks in Paris. Saying that while the ISIS ambition is certainly there
to launch similar attacks on U.S. shores, the capability is not great. Deputy
National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters that one big difference
between the situation in Europe and that in the U.S. is that "thousands" of
fighters have traveled to Syria and then returned to Europe. That number being
tracked in America is far smaller-- around 40, according to the Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper earlier this year. Rhodes emphasized Sunday
there is currently "no specific, credible threat" of an attack being planned in
the U.S., but vigilance among law enforcement is high.
Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on the Situation in Paris
As the President noted this evening, the attacks tonight in Paris are not just
attacks on the people of France, but attacks on all of humanity and the
universal values we share.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are
closely monitoring events in Paris and we are in contact with our counterparts
in the region. At this time, we know of no specific or credible threats of an
attack on the U.S. homeland of the type that occurred in Paris tonight.
As we do regularly, and out of an abundance of caution, DHS and the FBI are
consulting with state and local law enforcement. We are also in communication
with relevant private sector organizations to advise them of what we know, and
to hear from them about security precautions they may take.
Americans should mourn the loss of all those killed in Paris tonight, and we
stand together with the French people in the fight against terrorism and
Anti-Terrorism Raids Launched Across France in Wake of Paris Attacks - 150+ raids
conducted - 23 arrested - 'War Arsenal' of weapons discovered
French police launched scores of raids across the country on Sunday night in
pursuit of suspected terrorists following Friday’s attacks in Paris that claimed
129 lives and wounded hundreds. In Lyon, French news station BFM TV, cited by
the Guardian, reported police as saying that they had found a “war arsenal” of
weapons including a rocket launcher, pistols and a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
Local media sources reported raids in and around the southern cities of Grenoble
and Toulouse; in Jeumont, along the France-Belgian border; in Calais, home to a
major ferry port; and in Bobigny, a suburb around 6 miles northeast of central
Paris. The nation’s prime minister Manuel Valls said there had been 150 raids in
all, according to Associated Press.
'Anonymous' Hackers Declare War on ISIS in Video Message
The hacker group Anonymous has apparently responded to the attacks on Paris by
posting a video declaration of war against ISIS.
In the as-yet-unverified video, posted on YouTube, a spokesperson wearing the
group's signature Guy Fawkes mask said the group of hackers would use its
expertise to wage "war" on the militant group.
"Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared," the announcer
says in French.
"Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we
will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation
ever against you," the spokesperson continued, according to translated
transcripts of the video.
Economic Impact of Current Events
China reporting 50% drop in vacation reservations for Europe over the holidays
this weekend - Does the trend include U.S.? Time will tell
This will impact tourism shopping in Europe. A problem the States have been
experiencing of late as well, as reported by Terry Lundgren, CEO Macy's, in his
last quarterly results call. NYC and a number of other markets depend on tourism
shopping in the higher end of retail across the country - a factor that will have
an impact on holiday sales that has not been factored into the recent forecasts.
How much of an impact is unknown at this point obviously.
Paris Attacks Likely to Send Chinese Shoppers Elsewhere In Eurozone
“Tourist inflows to Europe were already seen sharply down in December"
The majority of stores in Paris may have reopened Monday in the aftermath of the
shocking terrorist attacks but Chinese shoppers are likely to give the city a
wide berth in the coming months, heading for other destinations in the Eurozone.
While Paris has always been a leading shopping destination for Mainland Chinese
tourists, the latest attacks, killing 129 including at least one Chinese
national, have made shoppers jittery. It’s the second terrorist attack in Paris
this year, following the Charlie Hebdo shooting which took the lives of 12
people in January. However, it’s not likely that those customers would return to
Hong Kong or opt for trips elsewhere in Asia.
How does it impact U.S. tourism over the holidays?
Certainly something we'll all be watching and hoping doesn't happen. However if
something does happen it will have a decimating impact.
U.S. Stocks Slide Following Paris Attacks, Volatile Trading Expected
In pre-market trading, U.S. stocks were uneven as analysts expected a day of
volatile trading following the terrorist attacks in Paris. By the opening bell,
major indices dropped slightly while retail stocks took steeper declines as
investors dropped out of the sector following weak earnings reports last week of
some key companies, including Nordstrom Inc. and Macy’s Inc.
Consumer confidence shaken worldwide, as countries across Europe and
elsewhere wonder 'if they could be next'
The economic impact from the "truly awful events" in Paris "should be limited
and temporary," an analyst from a unit of Colorado-based IHS Inc. said Monday.
Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist with IHS Global Insight, said
Friday's deadly attacks in the center of Paris "will obviously negatively impact
on the Parisian economy in the near term, and there are also likely to be some
knock-on effects elsewhere in France. This risk is magnified by the strong
concern that further attacks are a very serious risk."
As for the impact on tourism and retail, "the most obvious impact on Paris
will be the fact that many shops and public amenities will be closed in the near
term," IHS' Archer said. "In addition, there are likely to be markedly fewer
people coming into the French capital. But some of the shopping/business that
would have been done in Paris, will be done locally instead or online."
The attacks "could certainly have a significant negative impact on consumer
confidence in France in the near term at least," he added. "Consumer
confidence could also be hurt elsewhere in Europe as people in many other
countries will be wondering if they could be the next to suffer such an
atrocity. The UK, Spain and Belgium being obvious examples, given their past
history of terrorist attacks and in the case of Belgium, the fact that there are
clearly terrorist cells in the country that have been involved in the French
attacks this year."
Refugees In America - 10,000+ over 12-24 months
1,500 refugees in the U.S. since 2011 - Obama Administration announced in
September that 10,000 Syrians will be allowed entry next year
- Some governors halt, question plan to accept Syrian refugees
The governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan and Texas say they don't want to
accept Syrian refugees into their states. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley
rejected the possibility of allowing Syrian refugees into his state, and
connected refugees with potential terror threats. "After full consideration of
this weekend's attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose
any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee
Admissions Program," Bentley said Sunday in a statement.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was more conciliatory in his language, but
still resisted receiving Syrian refugees. He said the state would "put on hold
our efforts to accept new refugees."
Even before Sunday's revelation, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal complained
bitterly in an open letter to President Barack Obama. On Saturday, he said
the federal government had not informed his government about refugees being
relocated to his state last week.
Canada sticks to plan of accepting 25,000 refugees by Jan. 1st
Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the country will still take
in 25,000 Syrian refugees before Jan. 1 but he is facing increasing pressure to
tighten screening procedures and slow down the process to make sure that Islamic
State infiltrators aren't among them. In the wake of the series of attacks in
Paris on Friday, a number of politicians in Europe and North America have been
warning that countries are taking a big risk by allowing in many thousands of
refugees without rigorously determining whether any could be dangerous radicals.
News that at least one of the Paris assailants may have been among refugees who
passed through Greece has heightened those concerns.
A number of journalists, politicians, and a few military officials that have
been discussing the vetting processes for the refugees all admit one fact: How
do you vet an individual when the Syrian government has virtually fallen apart
and there's no apparatus available to provide information. While a few have
commented that it's a "robust" process no one has gone into any details
obviously. However, at the end of the day that will be any potential employer's
Refugee Employment - They'll be looking for jobs - What's your company policy?
With the retail industry being one of the largest employers in the country, how
does the nation's retailers react to any Syrian refugee applications for
employment? How are they screened and trained? And if indeed they're not offered
employment, how does the legal community respond?
Jeb Bush: 'It takes almost a year for a refugee to be processed in the United
Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes noted on Nov. 15’s Fox News
Sunday that there are "very robust vetting procedures for those refugees" and
said the administration will still continue to take them. But that’s "untrue"
and, in fact, "there’s virtually no vetting," according to Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.,
who chairs the House Subcommittee on Terrorism.
Elsewhere on the airwaves, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush suggested
that the vetting process was at least enough to distinguish between Christians —
whom the United States should focus on, according to Bush — and everyone else
U.S. Refugee Admissions Program
When UNHCR — or, occasionally, a U.S. Embassy or a specially trained
nongovernmental organization — refers a refugee applicant to the United States
for resettlement, the case is first received and processed by a Resettlement
Support Center (RSC). The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population,
Refugees and Migration (PRM) funds and manages nine RSCs around the world,
operated by international and nongovernmental organizations and one U.S.
interests section. Under PRM’s guidance, the RSCs prepare eligible refugee
applications for U.S. resettlement consideration. In detail at
Jeb Bush Calls for Profiling
In interviews yesterday and today Presidential candidate Jeb Bush condoned and
approved of profiling Syrian refugees. Especially males between the ages of 16
and 40, military fighting age.
Soft Targets - Restaurants Across America
With a number of the attacks at restaurants, not just in these Paris attacks but
many others, are they the U.S.'s soft targets?