Three Suicide Bombers Tried To Enter Jam-Packed French Soccer Stadium, None Succeeded
As tragic and horrific as Friday's terror attack in Paris was, with more than 120 dead and more than 300 wounded, it came close to being much worse. According to various reports, as many as three suicide bombers actually attempted to enter the Stade de France, where France was playing Germany in a soccer friendly.
Among the 80,000 fans in attendance was French President François Hollande. That was quite a target for the Muslim extremists, and possibly the main focus of the attack. In in a triumph of French stadium security, none of the attackers got in -- one detonated his vest when stopped at one of the gates by a guard, and the other two detonated their vests outside of the stadium. In all, a grand total of one person was killed in the attacks.
Again, a tragedy -- but could you imagine two of those bombs going off in the middle of the stands? And then the stampede of fans trying to escape the stadium would have also been horrific. That's the terror factor the attackers were going for, and it was a failure.
But there's another reason that the stadium was the key target, and it had nothing to do with the large number of people in a confined space. ISIS and groups like it have declared a war on soccer -- people caught playing it in their occupied territories have been imprisoned and even executed. And that's because soccer is very popular in the Middle East, and is one way in which people are bringing eastern and western cultures together.
And that does not sit well with terrorists, who are trying to divide and conquer, convincing potential recruits that the decadent west is much different than the God-fearing, righteous east. Zocalopublicsquare.org:
The sport is a seductress of Muslim youth, as it is of all youth around the world, much to the chagrin of those eager to fend off Western influences. Across the Middle East, soccer has been a galvanizing force in the debates over whether girls should be allowed to play sports. And just look at any photos of large crowds milling about anywhere in the region — whether at a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan or an upscale mall in Dubai or Saudi Arabia — and you will invariably see some people sporting Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, or Manchester United jerseys.
And so to Muslim extremists, soccer is Satan's sport. It serves no purpose in furthering their agenda, unlike in Nazi Germany when Hitler tried to prove the superiority of the Aryan race at the Berlin Olympics.
The targeting of soccer by jihadists fighting modernity should only intensify as the game’s influence continues to expand in the Muslim world. And when you look at the calendar of upcoming major tournaments—with the next two World Cups slated for Russia and Qatar, and next summer’s Euro Championship hosted by France, kicking off in the targeted Stade de France — security forces everywhere, not to mention lovers of the game, should consider last Friday night a declaration of war by the terrorists against the world’s most beloved sport.
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