The Lost and “Found ID” Oddity in Terror Cases—Stupid or Sinister?

One intriguing—if barely discussed—aspect of the Paris massacre was the quick progress authorities made in their investigation.

According to CNN, this was thanks to a staggering error—by one of the two now-dead alleged perpetrators. The man, Said Kouachi, reportedly left his identification card in the abandoned getaway vehicle. “It was their only mistake,” Dominique Rizet, police and justice consultant for CNN-affiliate BFMTV, opined.

Said Kouachi's ID card.  Allegedly found in the getaway car.

Said Kouachi’s ID card. Allegedly found in the getaway car.

2Nonetheless, it was a most curious mistake.

After all, this is the same man who went to such trouble to seemingly hide his identity by wearing a mask.

***

Intriguingly, such apparent gaffes have marked other watershed violence. Consider these examples, and draw your own conclusion:

The Bundle of James Earl Ray: The accused killer of Martin Luther King escaped from a prison shortly before the attack, and left several items on the sidewalk near the assassination site—in a bundle that included his rifle, binoculars, clothing, his prison radio, and a newspaper clipping revealing where King would be staying.

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