Attacks on France an “act of war” says Hollande as Islamic State claims responsibility for “Paris on Fire”

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Le Carillon restaurant, Paris (Image posted by Zdenka Pregelj)

Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks on at least 6 locations across Paris. French President Francois Hollande called the assaults “deliberate organized and planned act of war” and announced a state of emergency across the whole of France, early Saturday morning, the first time since Algerian war of 1954-62. At least 129 people died in the capital with 99 people in a critical condition according to Sky News in coordinated attacks carried out by a number of terrorists of which 7 died, 6 by detonating suicide vests, one by police.

Moazzam Begg former Guantanamo detainee tweeted,

Isis claims responsibility for shocking terror attacks. When will those who caused rise of Isis admit responsibility?  

The attack started at 9.20pm with shooting at the Carillon bar. At least 6 locations were targeted including diners at restaurants enjoying a Friday night out with family and friends. Reuters quoted police prefect Michel Cadot who told reporters “the terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places.”

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Sites of attacks (Image TFI)

The BBC reported the attack sites as follows,

Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – gun and suicide bomb attacks

Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – explosions near venue as France played Germany in football friendly

Le Carillon bar, 18 rue Alibert, 10th district – gun attack

Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, 20 rue Alibert, 10th district – gun attack

La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – gun attack

La Casa Nostra restaurant, 2 rue de la Fontaine au roi, 11th district – gun attack

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Match stopped after 3 explosions outside stadium

(Image via Transfer Related)

Another venue targeted was the Stade de France where the national side were playing Germany in a football match. Three explosions could heard at the ground as suicide bombers detonated their explosives but the game continued for some time until the seriousness of the situation became apparent and then hundreds of supporters were evacuated from their seats onto the field. It was later confirmed that an explosion occurred at Gate J killing 4 people and injuring 11 others. Hollande was evacuated swiftly  from the stadium and Paris put under lockdown with the army mobilized, borders closed and residents told to stay indoors. Large parts of the Metro were also closed down and American Airlines took the decision to halt departures to Paris.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed Award-winning global security journalist tweeted

Let’s not mince words. Our war in Syria is coming home. As usual, it is brave innocents who pay the price.

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Aftermath of attacks on Paris (Image CNN)

The largest number of casualties (at least 87 dead) occurred when several gunmen clad in black and carrying weapons took over a Bataclan concert hall where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal were playing. Some of the audience were taken hostage. An eyewitness reported one of the gunman allegedly shouting” this is for Syria”. Special forces took the decision to storm the building after intelligence was picked up (also tweeted on social media) that captives were being executed, shot one by one conveyed in text messages from the victims. Forces came across a “a scene of carnage” with “many casualties”. Reuters reported a witness to the assault as follows,

“Julien Pearce, a journalist from Europe 1 radio, was inside the concert hall when the shooting began. In an eyewitness report posted on the station’s website, Pearce said several very young individuals, who were not wearing masks, entered the hall during the concert, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and started “blindly shooting at the crowd”.

“There were bodies everywhere,” he said.

The gunmen shot their victims in the back, finishing some off at point-blank range before reloading their guns and firing again, Pearce said, after escaping into the street by a stage door, carrying a wounded girl on his shoulder.”

According to Sky News some people escaped onto the roof where they were able to enter an another building and seek shelter with a resident hiding in the dark. After Special Forces went in to Bataclan, Monde film footage showed people running and limping out of the back of the theatre for their lives with others clinging onto windows ledges, bodies lay on the ground and a reporter in a nearby building calls out asking them what is happening.

Remi Brulin, Research fellow (NYU) tweeted

3 out of 4 attackers at Le Bataclan died after triggering their explosive vests, 1 was killed by police forces (France 24)  

Eagles of Death Metal group posted a message on Facebook, “we are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.”

Islamic State statement

On my initial inquiry as to who was behind the attacks I was told via an account sympathetic to Islamic State, “wait for few hours, their website is down, attacked by Ghostsec and Binary Sec Hacking groups.” Another said, “first stop attacks on Syria and Iraq, you will not face this, otherwise ready to see these things daily.” Journalists were advised to stay “neutral” in reporting. One IS supporter posted a picture of a decorated cake with the words, “happy and successful attacks in France to the Ansar bهayyun”. One  person wrote,

“as for the killed kuffār (disbelievers), we don’t pray for them. Allah says in the Qur’ān:

مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَىٰ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ

“It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire.” {9:113} ”

 A wake up call indeed. 9/11 was planned by few fellas and IS is an entire army fully funded and present almost everywhere.”

A statement was released by the military council of Islamic state regarding its operation in France today (Saturday) as published via SITE intelligence. IS operate a “like for like” policy and the attacks on ordinary civilians clearly reflect the indiscriminate attacks by France on the Syrian population which make very grim viewing, raw video footage often released to social media.

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Images of IS statement via SITE intelligence

Audio of statement received begins with the words of a Nasheed,

For the sake of Allah we will march through the gates of the Paradise where our maidens await. We are men of Allah, just as you love your life, we are soldiers that fight in the day and the night (repeat)

Voice begins,

“A statement on the blessed onslaught in Paris against the Crusaders of France. On Saturday (date given in Arabic) In the name of Allah the most merciful, the most beneficent, Allah ta’ala said they thought their fortresses would protect them from Allah but Allah came upon them from where they were not expected and he cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands and the hands of the believers so take warning people of vision (Quran, Al-Hashr: 2).

In a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate, may Allah strengthen and support it, now targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe, Paris. This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake doing so in support of His religion, His Prophet (PBUH) and His allies they did so in spite of His enemies. Thus they were truthful with Allah we consider them so and Allah granted victory upon their hands and cast terror into the hearts of the Crusaders in their very own homeland.

And so 8 brothers equipped with explosives and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the centre of the capital of France. These targets included the Stadt der France stadium during a soccer match between the teams of Germany and France both of which are Crusader nation attended by the imbecile of France, Francois Hollande. The targets included the Bataclan theatre of Exhibitions where thousands of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice. There were also simultaneous other targets in the 1oth, 11th and 18th districts and elsewhere. Paris was thereby shaken beneath the Crusaders’ feet who were constricted by its streets. The result was the deaths of no less than 200 Crusaders and the wounding of even more. All praise, grace and favour belong to Allah.

Allah blessed our brothers and granted them what they desired. They detonated their explosives in the midst of the disbelievers after finishing their ammunition. We ask Allah to accept them amongst the Martyrs and allow us to follow them.

Let France and all nations following its path know they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the Crusader campaign. As long as they dare to curse our Prophet, blessings and PBUH and as long as they boast of their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris. Indeed it is just a beginning it is also a warning to any who wish to take heed.

Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all honour and to His messenger and to the believers but His messengers do not know … (Quran quoted) … Nasheed is chanted… Preparing to roar the brothers with Kuffar inside they rang some money and weapons are heavy with soldiers of Allah are more than ready. For the sake of Allah we will march through the gates of the Paradise where our maidens await. We are men of Allah, just as you love your life, we are soldiers that fight in the day and the night (repeat). Defending the pride of our sisters who have cried for fearing none but the Almighty has won. Their voices motivated the men who migrated to fill the duty of making God’s work the greatest. For the sake of Allah we will march through the gates of the Paradise where our maidens await. We are men of Allah, just as you love your life, we are soldiers that fight in the day and the night (repeat) Oh our brothers Jihad is the way to bring back the honor of our greatest day. The fight of Allah will always remain, the fighting for His sake is the ultimate gain (repeat). For the sake of Allah we will march through the gates of the Paradise where our maidens await. We are men of Allah, just as you love your life, we are soldiers that fight in the day and the night (repeat). And now time has come for the battles to be won. Jihad on our tongues as our hearts beat as one.  The Sunnah is alive, Khilafa on the rise. The flag of tauheed shining bright before our eyes. We are men of Allah, just as you love your life, we are soldiers that fight in the day and the night (repeat).”

End

—————————

Jihadwatch wrote the following in July alerting to future threats for France, they stated,

“ISIS’ official media wing in Syria’s Hama province published a video Wednesday showing a French-speaking militant shooting a Syrian army prisoner and declaring that the Islamic State “will fill the streets of Paris with dead bodies.”

The ISIS militant addressed his “message” to the French, the international community and “everyone who fights Allah and his prophet,” proclaiming that the Islamic State loves death “like you love life.”

aMinion tweeted to remind me of how IS operates as follows:-

standard procedure:

1. Warn

2. Execute operation

3. Issue audio/press release

4. Release video

5. Detailed article in Dabiq

Mystek Media Labs tweeted,

ISIS announces with the hashtag that will attack major cities including Rome, London and Washington

and

Smells like burnt croissants  

Responses to the attacks

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Playing outside Bataclan (Independent)

The people of Paris expressed their horror and grief and tried to find ways to express solidarity. Some opened their homes to those stranded in city offering shelter for the night and taxi drivers turned off their meters. The Independent reported, “someone just cycled to the Bataclan in Paris to play ‘Imagine’ on the piano”. Hollande announced 3 days of national morning for what has been described as the “worst peacetime attack in France’s history”.

BBC reported that David Cameron offered his thoughts and prayers to the French people saying, “we will do whatever we can to help” and will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra. There will also be an urgent safety review, borders tightened with more security at public events.

Victims

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Valentin Ribet (Image Daily Mail)

One Briton is confirmed dead in the attack. He was named by the Daily Mail as “Valentin Ribet studied at Business law at the London School of Economics (LSE)  and had been working in the Paris office of an an international law firm.”  Family and friends used the hashtag #rechercheParis on Twitter to try to locate loved ones.

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 Persons missing after the attacks (Image via Debora Krasniki )

Moroccan World posted information regarding a newly wed couple from the country,

“we just learned that one my cousins was a victim in the #Paris attack. A newly wed (…..) passed away while his wife received 3 shots and is in critical condition in the hospital,” the victim’s cousin said on his page on Saturday night.

CBS named Nohemi Gonzalez, 23 a student from California State University Long Beach. She was a junior studying design and was attending a semester abroad program at Strate College of Design.

For more stories on the victims and missing see following link,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3317776/Paris-attack-sees-150-dead-Eagles-Death-Metal-concert-hostages-killed.html

President Barak Obama also offered support declaring, “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. Full statement can be read on the following link,

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/13/statement-president-situation-paris

Khoder Soueid, Graduate of the Islamic university of Madinah gave the following response,

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Others had a very different reaction. A mock image of Hollande about to be executed on the Champs Elysee in front of a group of IS militants including Jihadi John (alleged to have been hit in a recent drone strike) was posted on Twitter with the words,

 supporters portraying the allegedly killed is executing President Hollande in ..

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(Note, Mock image)

Jahan Mahmood, media commentator said,

“Innocent civilians once again caught up in a war the west has only helped to further intensify. Humanity I’ll tell you what humanity is, recognizing your faults, apologizing, not interfering in the affairs of other nations so that they don’t feel the need to return the pain. Why do we condemn the violence of others and not recognize our own. There is brutality on both sides of the divide and such acts will not stop until we address the root causes. Unfortunately the victims will always be civilians”

Mahsudee Archer

Listen! Did Ur claim of being killed bring any change? No! Nw celebrate his shahada with blood as alcohol

Others posted an image of the Eiffel Tower with a black flag on top.

Dey Ley

I give my thoughts to each and every one of the victims and they’re families in Paris. I hope beyond hope that there will not be a backlash on innocent Muslims and that we can work together to eradicate the scum that perpetrate these heinous crimes..

H Harlem Haleem 

amazing isn’t it, replace “Paris” with “Damascus” or “Baghdad” & its not even news, but Paris or London = 2 months headlines

Hilary Clinton

“We’re not at war with Islam…we’re at war with violent extremism.” —Hillary

Green Fighter 

if we count only previous month afghan have 50+ drone victim, assad killed 80+ in abu kamal town previous week, no one cares.

Mhairi Black MP

All terrorism is only ever an act of pointless violence, fear and cowardice. Thoughts are with all those affected by the events in Paris.

Majid Freeman, “Please pray for the thousands of innocent Muslims in Europe who will start apologising for the Paris attacks they did not commit / know about.” He also pointed out, “ISIS have killed more MUSLIMS than non-Muslims You just don’t hear about it as the media don’t see Muslim lives as valuable as non-Muslims!” Freeman tweeted the following,

Innocent civilians in who r also being killed have a msg for the world No to

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(Image via Majid Freeman)

 The attackers

Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins spoke to media confirming that 129 people were dead, numbers may rise and more than 350 persons have been wounded. First indications are that the attacks are the work of 3 assault teams.

The Guardian published the following updates.

  • One of the attackers at the Bataclan is understood to be a 30-year-old French national, who was known to French police because of links to Islamic radicals.

——————-

Israel claimed to have passed on intelligence related to the attackers,

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.686048

First attacker identified

Al Jazeera reported,

“French police have identified the first attacker involved in a series of assaults across Paris, which left at least 129 people dead and wounded hundreds more.

Omar Ismail Mostefai was a 29-year-old Paris native whose detached finger was found overnight at the Bataclan concert hall, the scene of the bloodiest attack, the AFP news agency said.

The French citizen had been known to police for his alleged links to armed groups but had not been previously linked to violent activities.”

There was also a security alert at Gatwick with one arrest made of a French national who is alleged to have ditched what appears to be a firearm into a bin.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-34821392

Vigil for Victims

Twenty-four hours after the attacks, crowds gathered to reclaim the streets of Paris to attend candlelit vigils and mourn their dead. They sang La Marseillaise (national anthem), laid flowers and changed Facebook profile photos to the Tricolore (French flag).

Charlotte Farhan, Editor in Chief of ASLI magazine had the following to say,

“I won’t be changing my profile to the French flag even though I am French and from Paris. The reason for this is that if I did this for only Paris this would be wrong. If I did this for every attack on the world, I would have to change my profile everyday several times a day. My heart is with the world, no borders, no hierarchy, I hold every human’s life with value who is attacked by extremist beliefs whether they are based on religion, prejudice or profit! Don’t be part of the “us and them” mentality which the war mongers want you to do”

Links 

“Our terrorism double standard: After Paris, let’s stop blaming Muslims and take a hard look at ourselves”

http://www.salon.com/2015/11/14/our_terrorism_double_standard_after_paris_lets_stop_blaming_muslims_and_take_a_hard_look_at_ourselves/

“NATO’s turn to attack”

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/14/natos-turn-to-attack-paris-terrorist-isis/?utm_content=buffer8dae2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

“France: Charlie Hebdo attack and hypocrisy on freedom of information”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/france-charlie-hebdo-attack-and-hypocrisy-on-freedom-of-expression/

“France: Charlie Hebdo, why should I keep apologising”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/france-charlie-hebdo-why-should-i-be-asked-to-keep-apologising/

“France: Four arrested after beheading and attack at chemical factory near Lyons”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/france-four-arrested-after-beheading-and-attack-at-chemical-factory-near-lyons/

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. (She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”)

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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