Islamic State claims responsibility for Paris attacks

Published: November 14, 2015
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PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Islamic State on Saturday claimed a series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris that killed at least 128 people at a concert hall, restaurants and the national sports stadium.

French President Francois Hollande also blamed the extremist group and called the coordinated assault on Friday night at six different sites an “act of war”.

The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. His government announced sharply increased border controls and heightened police powers as it mobilised the military in a national emergency.

French television and news services quoted the police as saying that around 100 people had been killed at a concert site where hostages had been held during a two-hour standoff with the police, and that perhaps dozens of others had been killed in apparently coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and four or five other popular locations in the city. But estimates on the total number of dead varied.

At least 12 killed in Paris massacre

Witnesses on French television said the scene at the concert hall, which can seat as many as 1,500 people, was a massacre, describing how gunmen with automatic weapons shot bursts of bullets into the crowd. Ambulances were seen racing back and forth in the area into the early hours of Saturday.

Television reports said at least five assailants had been killed: three at the concert hall as the police assaulted the building, and two near the sports stadium. It was unclear whether other attackers were still on the loose early Saturday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

The casualties eclipsed the deaths and mayhem in Paris during the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and related assaults around the French capital by Islamic militant extremists less than a year ago.

Those attacks traumatised France and other countries in Europe, which grappled with fears of religious extremism and violent militants, radicalised by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.

An explosion near the sports stadium, the Stade de France, which French news services said was an apparent suicide bombing, occurred as Germany and France were playing a soccer match, forcing a hasty evacuation of Mr. Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was placing severe restrictions on its border crossings.

‘Scene of Carnage’ inside sold-out Paris concert hall

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded. It’s horrific.”

Mr. Hollande said that on his orders the government had “mobilised all the forces we can muster to neutralise the threats and secure all of the areas.”

President Obama came to the White House briefing room to express solidarity and offer aid and condolences. “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians,” he said. “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

PHOTO: REUTERS

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Twitter erupted with celebratory messages by members and sympathisers of the Islamic State, the extremist group based in Syria and Iraq that is under assault by major powers, including the United States, France and Russia.

The main shooting appeared to have broken out at a popular music hall, The Bataclan, where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was among those playing. French news services said as many as 100 hostages may have been taken there, many of them apparently killed later. Some accounts said grenades had been lobbed inside the music hall.

A witness quoted by BFM television said he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” at The Bataclan.

Another witness who escaped the concert hall told BFM: “When they started shooting we just saw flashes. People got down on the ground right away.”

The police ordered bystanders in the area to get off the streets as officers mobilised, French television reported.

Other French news media reported that Kalashnikov rifles had been involved in the shootings — a favored weapon of militants who have attacked targets in France — and that many rounds had been fired.

Police sirens sounded throughout central Paris on Friday night.

Despite the increased border security, air travel in and out of Paris appeared to be unaffected. Officials at Charles de Gaulle Airport confirmed that flights had not been suspended, although security had been heightened significantly. Both departing and arriving passengers and baggage were being screened thoroughly.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said early Saturday that he had offered to send military assistance to France if requested. “I am in close contact with my French colleague and have offered assistance through German special forces,” he said in a statement.

Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney general, also offered help. “We stand in solidarity with France, as it has stood with us so often in the past,” she said in a statement. “This is a devastating attack on our shared values, and we at the Department of Justice will do everything within our power to assist and work in partnership with our French law enforcement colleagues.”

PM Nawaz condemns Paris terror attacks

American and European counterterrorism officials were reviewing wiretaps and other electronic surveillance records, but a senior American security official said there was no immediate indication that there had been suspicious chatter or other warning signs before the attack.

Unlike the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January, terrorism experts said, the attacks on the targets on Friday had no apparent rationale. Instead, assailants appeared to strike at random in hip neighborhoods on a Friday night when many people would be starting to enjoy the weekend.

“It’s a Friday night, and there’s a lot of people out, a lot of tourists out,” said a senior European counterterrorism official. “If you want maximum exposure, you do it like this, in the dark, when it’s scarier and more difficult for police to act.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times, a partner of The Express Tribune

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Reader Comments (46)

  • syed
    Nov 14, 2015 - 9:21AM

    reminding Mumbai 11/26 style attack ….Recommend

  • Crew
    Nov 14, 2015 - 9:22AM

    The things that did this and their ideology must be eradicated from the earth.Recommend

  • Mj
    Nov 14, 2015 - 9:27AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris. The terrorists who perpetrated this act have no religion and no humanity.Recommend

  • Kamal
    Nov 14, 2015 - 9:38AM

    90,000 Pakistani deported by Western countries. Prepare to take more. Just prey that there is no pakistani connection. Recommend

  • Angry Pitbull
    Nov 14, 2015 - 9:42AM

    RIP my heart goes out to the people who died in this carnage,

    Now europe will realize the pain of mumbai attack, Time has come to erase the name called TERRORIST from this world. There is no such thing called good terrorists and bad terrorists.Recommend

  • Nov 14, 2015 - 9:54AM

    @Gul: It is pathetic that your concern is for bad publicity and not the bad ideology which is endorsed by silence.Recommend

  • rajesh
    Nov 14, 2015 - 10:20AM

    A disease for the entire world which needs to be eradicated with joint effort of worldRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Nov 14, 2015 - 10:41AM

    Rest in peace. These terrorists are twisted and do not represent Islam just like IS. Swift action needs to be taken against their backers.Recommend

  • Angry Pitbull
    Nov 14, 2015 - 10:52AM

    TIT FOR TAT by super powers:

    My assumption is this is a war between EU and Russia in the name of terrorist.

    1, Russia Gunned down Malaysian airline with Netherland passengers in Ukraine.
    2, In revenge EU downed the Russian flight in egypt.
    3, Now russia took support of syrian terrorists and killed more than 100’s in paris.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Nov 14, 2015 - 10:56AM

    Lets hope no ‘south asians’ are involved.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Nov 14, 2015 - 11:05AM

    @syed:
    Amazing that you should think of publicity when so many innocents are killed. Such attitudes are deplorable.Recommend

  • Travis
    Nov 14, 2015 - 11:38AM

    This is the big one that will change the course of history.Recommend

  • JSM
    Nov 14, 2015 - 11:40AM

    @Angry Pitbull:
    You are joking.Recommend

  • zed
    Nov 14, 2015 - 11:53AM

    i am afraid, it wasn’t a news when yesterday people in majlis at Lebanon was attacked by 3 suicide blasts which resulted in 70 died 200 injured. my condolences with France, but why non muslim blood is more precious to be in news?Recommend

  • Hari Om
    Nov 14, 2015 - 12:00PM

    @Angry Pitbull:

    While speaking of conspiracy theories, rather than an EU vs Russia scenario, Pakistani’s may be more receptive to one pointing that the attack was caused by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was at the time just round the corner in London (with Ajit Doval) for the sole purpose of maligning Pakistan and Islam.Recommend

  • bash gul
    Nov 14, 2015 - 12:58PM

    @Kamal:
    Even if no Pakistani was involved, the Zionist and Indians will plant someone to blame us.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Nov 14, 2015 - 1:29PM

    An outcome of facist and inhuman religions which transform humans in devils.Recommend

  • Sad but True
    Nov 14, 2015 - 1:43PM

    @Iqbal:
    It is no publicity. All news media are saying that this carnage resembles 26/11.Recommend

  • Gap
    Nov 14, 2015 - 1:54PM

    I think there is another invasion like Afghanistan will be going to take place. Allah Knows better…which Muslim country is next.Recommend

  • Hadith
    Nov 14, 2015 - 2:22PM

    Am sure these terrorists will have some connections with Pakistan or else it will be history. First terrorist attack without Pakistani connection that’s not possible lol.Recommend

  • Nov 14, 2015 - 3:12PM

    france n europe should take the responsibility. this is the reaction What they did in libya n iraq. by creating headless states they n other countries r at the mercy of these terrorists.ENJOYRecommend

  • shakeel
    Nov 14, 2015 - 3:19PM

    well these heinous so called jihadis must be punished equally i am worried about my country hope no one involved in this case otherwise its gonna be hate storm from west……… Recommend

  • JeSuisParis
    Nov 14, 2015 - 3:29PM

    It would be better for beards and hijabs to stay indoors for a long time.Recommend

  • Usman
    Nov 14, 2015 - 3:44PM

    As as a UK Pakistani I can tell you the fallout will be huge for Pakistan. There has been massive migration over thee past year and the Europeans do not want anymore Muslims. Nobody has any sympathy for Kashmir. We have little support in the United Nations. This has been the reality since 911 and this has made it much worse in Europe. Recommend

  • Appan
    Nov 14, 2015 - 3:51PM

    RIP. Sad so many innocent lives are lost. As a Mumbaikar, I could feel the anger of the people of France. No words could console them. It is the price they pay for allowing the demons who have crept into the country disguised as refugees.The demon ISIS is at it again. No mercy shall be shown to these animals. If this is allowed to continue, the so called “Islamic state” will become “Irreparable State”Recommend

  • 72Hoor
    Nov 14, 2015 - 4:14PM

    @Pakistani:
    They’re not happy in Gaza .. They’re not happy in Egypt .. They’re not happy in Libya .. They’re not happy in Morocco .. They’re not happy in Iran .. They’re not happy in Iraq .. They’re not happy in Yemen .. They’re not happy in Afghanistan .. They’re not happy in Pakistan .. They’re not happy in Syria .. They’re not happy in Lebanon .. SO, WHERE ARE THEY HAPPY? They’re happy in Australia . They’re happy in Canada . They’re happy in England .. They’re happy in France .. They’re happy in Italy .. They’re happy in Germany .. They’re happy in Sweden .. They’re happy in the USA .. They’re happy in Norway .. They’re happy in Holland . They’re happy in India . They’re happy in Denmark . Basically, they’re happy in every country that is not Muslim and unhappy in every country that is! AND WHO DO THEY BLAME? Not Islam. Not their leadership. Not themselves. THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN! AND THEN; They want to change those countries to be like…. THE COUNTRY THEY CAME FROM WHERE THEY WERE UNHAPPY! Remark- Even Muslims can’t disagree with thisRecommend

  • JSM
    Nov 14, 2015 - 5:05PM

    @Iqbal:
    Where is publicity in what he has said? You take no action against terrorists and they are emboldened. Mumbai 26/11 has been repeated in Paris. Mumbai 26/11 awaits closure after seven years.Recommend

  • Zen
    Nov 14, 2015 - 5:41PM

    Condolences for the departed. It is time for the world to come together and bring the perpetrators of Mumbai 26/11 to justice and the country that supports it.Recommend

  • Shaine
    Nov 14, 2015 - 7:19PM

    Sad newsRecommend

  • Shimhon.
    Nov 14, 2015 - 9:43PM

    Im israely, im with the french people and know what is like. Its sad to see europe still so naive. We are learned thru blood not to trust and to be on guard. A month ago was an article about that after refugees were allowed there were 3 arms shipping intercepted destinationed to germany and france from isil connections. Islam is not to blame, who are people of interest to disrupt order in region?
    Russian plane, now paris again, next some major terror attack in russia and then germany wil get their share of blood. Its irony that I feel safest in Israel. May we all act against evil, or evil will prevail. Peace.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Nov 14, 2015 - 10:57PM

    @Usman: Stop this crying about Kashmir. It’s not somebody else’s fault if you covet something belonging to others.Recommend

  • ALI
    Nov 14, 2015 - 11:57PM

    ISIS is Naughty!!!Recommend

  • Hameed
    Nov 15, 2015 - 12:58AM

    Lal Masjid guys are big supporters of ISIS and one particular province is a big supporter of Lal Masjid guys, so much so that Musharaff, who is not from that province, is being prosecuted from trying to deal with Lal Masjid guys. What should one infer from this about people of that particular province?Recommend

  • Gul,h
    Nov 15, 2015 - 2:12AM

    @72Hoor:
    Excellent analysis!! Must add this .. Many more worried about stray indian incidents than vicious barbaric violence that gripped pakistan for 20 years…That the sad truth ofmany Muslims and their religious based lives! Hope this mindset changes.. Recommend

  • Vikram
    Nov 15, 2015 - 3:23AM

    @72Hoor: This life is only a test.Recommend

  • HG
    Nov 15, 2015 - 3:35AM

    @72Hoor:
    You don’t have right to write bitter truth on Islamic newspaper. How dare you?Recommend

  • ABC
    Nov 15, 2015 - 3:39AM

    It’s really a sad, my prays and thoughts who died in this terrorist attacks and their families in Paris
    We stand with shoulder to shoulder with people of FranceRecommend

  • Jaggu
    Nov 15, 2015 - 5:15AM

    @syed:
    and APS attack Peshawar where 140 innocent children were mercilessly killed by terrorists. Who can forget that heart wrenching tragedy?Recommend

  • Bosphorous
    Nov 15, 2015 - 5:19AM

    @Kamal:
    Pakistan has nothing to do with IS. It has successfully kept IS at bay much to the chagrin of Powers to be. Recommend

  • Reality Bites
    Nov 15, 2015 - 5:24AM

    @Sad but True:
    CIA style.Recommend

  • Reality Bites
    Nov 15, 2015 - 5:31AM

    @72Hoor:
    you need some tutorials in international politics. Your analysis of turmoil (unhappiness) in Muslim countries is too shallow. Go and read history so that you can understand present day scenario. I wonder whether you are capable of that or not? As to what has happened in Paris is highly condemnable. Such sick people must be eliminated.Recommend

  • Bosphorous
    Nov 15, 2015 - 7:06AM

    @Gul,h. Are you obsessed with Pakistan? We have nothing to do with Paris incident, in fact Pakistan has kept its distance from IS. You must be disappointed by that.Recommend

  • Mrs HighBall
    Nov 15, 2015 - 8:21AM

    @Sandip: You must be braindead ! In fact he implied the opposite; essentially, best forget about marshalling international support for Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.Recommend

  • hellboy
    Nov 15, 2015 - 9:04AM

    @72Hoor: that is the synonym of a virus which multiply so rapidly.Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid
    Nov 15, 2015 - 4:01PM

    India did it…
    Modi was asking the world to isolate terrorism supporting countries.. He will rant the same in the Paris G20 meet..
    Paris attack very similar to Mumbai attack… India will blame Pakistan againRecommend

  • Sandip
    Nov 15, 2015 - 9:14PM

    @Mrs HighBall: Spend some time here and then you would understand the nuances in the comments to know who is braindead.Recommend

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