In the early aughts, “there was a genuine panic about how capable Al Qaeda was of creating events on the scale of 9/11,” the New Yorker staff writer Steve Coll says. “The real capacity of the transnational jihadist movement is a lot more like what you saw in Paris.”
Coll joins his fellow-writer John Cassidy and the host Dorothy Wickenden on this week’s Political Scene podcast to talk about the international campaign against Islamic extremism following the attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. They discuss France’s difficulty in assimilating Arab immigrants, the evolution of terrorism over the past decade, and the use of secret warrants for surveillance under the Patriot Act. “Whatever policies we pursue, we’ve got to take a two-part approach: Are they going to be effective in the short term, but are they going to have counterproductive effects in the long-term, in generating a bigger flow of disaffected young Muslims?” Cassidy says.