The terror in Paris last week was caught on cell phones by lots of innocent bystanders, but now we’re learning the terrorists had plans to record it too.
There are media reports that the Kouachi brothers had a GoPro, discovered in their getaway car after they abandoned it. It was still in the packaging, and not used during their attack on the Charlie Hebdo office.
But Ahmed Coulibaly, the third suspect, was apparently wearing a GoPro when he raided a Kosher supermarket and took hostages. According to French newspapers, he was seen trying to upload video while the hostage crisis was still going on.
“Whenever new communication technology appears, terrorists immediately grab it and make use of it,” said Brigitte Nacos, an expert in media and terrorism at Columbia University.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what the French suspects were planning to do with their GoPros, but the news has raised a troubling question: could they have planned to livestream their attack? Experts believe it’s the next logical step for terrorists looking to bypass traditional media outlets.
Most smartphones are now capable of livestreaming to the world, and a GoPro can sync with a smartphone wirelessly to broadcast high-quality, point-of-view footage. The technology has been used to cover news events and draw attention to protests, but it’s certainly possible it could be used to spread violence.
“The thing that terrorists want most is attention. How better can you do that than if you can do it directly,” Nacos said. “I think that will come, and it will come soon.”