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While just three months ago Saudi Arabia was losing allies rapidly, now the momentum has clearly shifted. This sea of change proves how geopolitical fortune can turn around quickly. The catalyst was the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
Olivier Guitta, who runs GlobalStrat, a risk consultancy, said that Isis seemed to want to preserve its operatives. “There is a realisation that if they can keep their operatives alive longer then they could possibly pull off other attacks,” he said.
After the Saudi-led airstrikes on Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, on October 8, pressure on Western nations selling weapons to Saudi Arabia will be mounting. Recently, the United States Congress passed into law the Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism (JASTA) bill, aimed at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Olivier Guitta of GlobalStrat, a geopolitical risk consultancy, says “to do both operations at the same time is really a stretch.” In Iraq, he says, the anti-IS coalition can “count on the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias,” but “in Syria there is a different picture.”
In his last address to the United Nations General Assembly, Barack Obama mentioned Syria in passing. It should have been the central theme of his speech but, as Laurent Fabius has said, Obama was never serious about solving the Syrian crisis.
"We've seen in the past just how a handful of jihadists coming from Libya into Tunisia have really carried out attacks that have had a huge impact on the Tunisian economy as well," Olivier Guitta, the Director of GlobalStrat, an International Security and Geopolitical Risk Firm told RFI.
“France was already in a state of emergency. Soldiers and police are already patrolling all over the place all the time. You feel like you’re in Beirut in the 1970s,” said Olivier Guitta, managing director at GlobalStrat security consulting firm
This poses an enormous challenge for police and intelligence services: French security expert Olivier Guitta has estimated that in France intelligence agencies have to keep tabs on 100 times as many people as a decade ago.
"There was a reaction after November [attacks]—most were willing to give up privacy and freedom in order for state to make them more secure," Guitta said. "For eight months, people started to feel much safer, and that may be the downfall that happened yesterday. The feeling of fake security."
“Nightclubs have been considered as easy soft targets for jihadists for a while,” says Olivier Guitta, managing director at GlobalStrat, a security and geopolitical risk consulting firm. He points out that in February, some IS followers were arrested in France for planning terror attacks on nightclubs.
The managing director of international security firm GlobalStrat said the fanzones are a lot more difficult to secure than stadiums and added that he was fearful of attacks on the thousands of supporters that will be watching the games there.
September 11 clearly revealed the existence of transnational terrorism with worldwide terror networks. Western nations were left with no choice but to closely cooperate in terms of intelligence, know-how and even, sometimes, procedures.
AQIM has regained credibility in the jihadist world with these three attacks in the past four months targeting France and its African allies. It also sends a message to the world that Sunni jihadists do not belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), but that Al-Qaeda is alive and kicking.