Paris Terrorist Attack: Black Swan or Perfect Storm?

On Friday, 13 November 2015, France suffered the worst terrorist attack in its modern history as Islamic State (IS) gunmen and suicide bombers simultaneously attacked the Bataclan concert hall, Stade de France football stadium, and restaurants and bars in Paris’s popular nightlife spots, leaving some 130 people dead and hundreds seriously injured.

As France, and indeed the rest of the world, seeks to make sense of this terrible event, two questions dominate the discussion, and indeed the headlines: could the attack have been prevented and what can we do to protect ourselves against future occurrences?

The answers, it seems to me, depends on whether or not one regards such events as Black Swans or Perfect Storms.

Continue reading