Paris Attacks: The Changing Face Of Terrorist Targeting

As simultaneous Paris standoffs ended with the death of three of the four terror suspects on Friday, the murders of 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo office and the taking of hostages in a kosher supermarket raised the specter of a new kind of terror. After decades of attacks targeting skyscrapers, aviation, seats of power and other high-profile targets, are terrorists shifting to a different mode of operation, one in which they go for workplaces, stores and other arenas of everyday civilian life?

While the suggestion that terrorism has evolved from attacking major infrastructure to softer targets is a valid one after Paris, it’s also a difficult question to answer, because of the opportunistic nature of terrorism.