A European Union flag and a Belgian national flag fly at half mast for the victims of today's Brussels attacks in front of the Belgian embassy in Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2016.
Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

It takes three hours to drive from Sint-Jans-Molenbeek in Brussels to Place de la République, a historic square in Paris. On Friday, November 13, three cars did just that. They were loaded with machine guns, ammunition, suicide vests, and three teams of trained guerillas from the Islamic State (also called ISIS). By midnight, the men from Molenbeek had killed 132 people and injured 350, setting a terrible new record for terrorist attacks perpetuated by European jihadists against their homeland.

Just days later, on Sunday night, French President François Hollande declared, “We are at war.” French fighter jets soon carried out bombing sorties over Raqqa, ISIS’ capital city, which is thousands of miles away from where the terrorists originated. So just who is France at war with? 

BACK TO BRUSSELS

On Monday morning, French officials released the name of the man they have identified as the mastermind of Friday’s attacks: Abdelhamid

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  • JYTTE KLAUSEN is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation at Brandeis University and an Affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
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