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.

Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

What We’re Following: In France

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.


A model wears a bazin dress made by designer Fadi Maiga in Bamako, Mali, on October 21, 2015. For more images from Mali’s bazin fashion industry, visit The Atlantic Photo. (Joe Penney / Reuters)


Lavinia Limón, who has worked with refugees since 1975: “I think I can count on one hand the number of crimes of any significance that I’ve heard have been committed by refugees.”

David Caruso, a psychologist: "There’s this relentless drive to mask the expression of our true underlying feelings.”

Lauren Tarshis, author of the I Survived children’s book series: “It’s not like your inherent cunning is going to help you survive when you’re being chased by Nazi soldiers.”

News Quiz

1. The Syrian civil war, and the refugee crisis it has created, has spawned a black market in ____________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2. Before the Paris attacks, Facebook had only activated its “safety check” feature during ____________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3. Research suggests that having children can make parents less _________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

Evening Read

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.

Reader Response

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.


The Soup evaporates, wine consumption by Italians drops, solution to soggy hamburgers proposed, Ben Carson’s map of the United States just completely wrong.