Timing and location stand out in Paris attack, expert says

by: DaShawn Brown Updated:

ROCK HILL, S.C. - An attack Thursday in the heart of Paris left one officer dead and two hurt. The Islamic State is claiming responsibility, and this comes a week after the U.S. dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” on an Islamic State compound in Afghanistan.

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Eyewitness News reporter Dashawn Brown learned that incident, combined with France's upcoming elections, could have provided motivation.

Winthrop Professor Chris Van Aller said this attack stood out for several reasons, including where it happened, when and who they attacked.

The attack on French police could be their way of trying to make a statement that they're not afraid.

He also said the timing of this attack is significant, with the French election only days away.

French presidential candidates have either canceled or rescheduled last-minute campaigns ahead of the first-round vote this weekend.

Van Aller also noted the location of the attack, being that it is a top tourist destination.

“Terrorist(s) rely on the fact that the world media notices what they're doing,” Van Aller said. “And so they only have to do a few things in a very theatrical way."

Van Aller felt the chances of a large-scale attack on American soil are still extremely low.

He said historically the U.S. has done a better job of integrating its immigrants, which has been helpful in offsetting attacks.