The Atlantic Daily: Arrests in Paris, Suicide Bombings in Nigeria, Refugees in the U.S.
French police continued their search for more suspects in last week’s attacks, attackers killed dozens at markets in two Nigerian cities, the political debate over Syrian asylum-seekers intensified, and more.
At least two people are dead and seven have been arrested after French police raided an apartment in northern Paris in search of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the man they say masterminded last Friday’s attacks. France has mobilized thousands of security personnel to aid in the effort, and the rest of Europe continues to be on high alert. Abaaoud and another suspect remain at large.
In Nigeria: Suicide bombers killed at least 43 people in 24 hours in two cities in the country. The attacks occurred at busy markets, which Boko Haram, the terrorist group suspected to be behind the killings, has increasingly targeted since the Nigerian military recaptured Boko Haram’s territorial gains this year. A report on terrorism-related deaths released today found that Boko Haram is the world’s deadliest extremist group.
In the United States: The debate over the status of Syrian refugees escalated further when one U.S. mayor likened one potential response to the debate to the World War II-era policy of internment for Japanese-Americans. The governors of at least 26 states have said they will not take in any of the 10,000 Syrian refugees the federal government has agreed to accept in the next year, and Republicans in Congress are readying legislation to try to stop the resettlement program.
Molly Ball on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his plan to reduce income inequality:
He is uniquely positioned to make his claim on the party’s future. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has won the left’s heart with her tirades against big banks. And [Senator Bernie] Sanders, from Vermont, has become something of a folk hero—and seen his unlikely campaign catch fire—for his rumpled rabble-rousing. But as members of the Senate minority, they can do little but spout rhetoric. De Blasio has something they don’t have: power. He commands a city bureaucracy hundreds of thousands strong; he has more constituents than most senators and governors do; he presides over a city council that is both ideologically sympathetic and structurally weak. In the nearly two years since he took office, he has embarked on an aggressive program to make the city less unequal—a program whose significance he believes most New Yorkers have yet to grasp. …
Whether de Blasio is able to change the course of the country will depend on a couple of questions: Is his project in New York working? And do people like it? The mayor is finding, over the course of nearly two years in office, that the answers to those questions are not as closely linked as they might seem.
A Maryland reader responds to U.S. politicians’ call to keep Syrian refugees off American soil:
It seems to me that it’s the same old story of the “other.” My governor announced that he was asking the federal government to cease placing refugees in our state until security assurances could be made. When I expressed my disappointment with this decision, the counter argument I got (from another citizen, not the governor) was “imagine if a refugee raped your mother/sister/niece.”
As the grandchild of immigrants who came to this country fleeing WWII, my stance is “imagine that refugee WAS your mother/sister/niece.”
So I have to disagree with the passage you posted from Kevin Drum. It DOES seem xenophobic to assume that because they’re from the same region and share a religion that refugees fleeing the thing we fear might actually be the thing we fear. I also don’t see this as putting political correctness ahead of national security; I see it as putting morality and ethical behavior ahead of fear.