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 mobilized the military in a national emergency.
President Obama addressed the attacks in Paris on Friday evening, calling the attacks “heartbreaking.”
”Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,”
“This is an attack not just on Paris and not just on people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
The president said he had not spoken to French President Francois Hollande but would shortly.
He said his team is was still gathering information and he didn’t want to speculate about who might be responsible.
But he said the United States stands ready to provide whatever assistance may be necessary and vowed to work with the French and nations around the world
“to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.”
“The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again,”
“And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”
He noted that France is the United States’ oldest ally and recounted the French values of liberty, fraternity and equality.
“Those are values that we share,”
“And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.”
Latest developments, posted at 11:59 p.m.:
- Paris Prosecutor spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre said eight extremists are dead after attacks.
- Seven of them were killed in suicide bombings.
- U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande to offer condolences and assistance in the investigation, the White House said. Earlier, Obama said,
“This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.”
He called the attacks an
“outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”
- A total of six locations were attacked in and just outside the capital, Paris prosecutor François Molins told reporters Saturday.
- Five suspected attackers have been “neutralized,” said Molins. It was unclear whether that term meant the terrorists were dead.
- A witness tells Radio France that attackers inside the Bataclan concert hall entered firing rifles and shouting “Allah akbar.”
- At least 153 people were killed in the Paris and Saint-Denis shootings and bombings, French officials said. Saint-Denis is home to the national stadium where the soccer match was being played.
- The worst carnage occurred at Bataclan, with at least 112 left dead A journalist who was at a rock concert there escaped
“We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.”
Julien Pearce didn’t hear the attackers speak, but he said one friend who escaped heard them talk about Iraq and Syria.
Later, he said the men were speaking French.
Two men dressed in black started shooting and after wounded people fell to the floor, the gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said.
According to French officials, at least:
- 112 were killed at the Bataclan theater.
- 14 were killed on Rue Bichat at the site of the Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, in the 10th district.
- 19 died on Rue de Charonne in the 11th district, outside a bar called La Belle Equipe.
- Four were killed on Avenue de la Republique, in the 10th district.
- Four others died outside the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.
BFMTV reports that SWAT units stormed Bataclan and that the siege was over.
Two attackers were killed, a police union said.
Police brought out at least 100 hostages from the concert hall, some appear to be wounded.
Hollande told reporters outside Bataclan that
“terrorists capable of carrying out such atrocities must know that they will face a France that is determined and united.”
Islamic State claims responsibility for attack in Paris
Isil has said in a statement, written in French and Arabic, and an audo message claiming responsibility for the attacks, and warning it is the “first of a storm”.
They say that France will remain a top target as long as it continues its policies, and the attacks were a response to insults of Islam’s prophet and airstrikes in Isil territory.
The statement says that the attackers were “targeting the capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe, Paris”.
In the French declaration, Isil said that the goal of the attacks was a
“minimum of 200 dead”.
It described the attacks
“where eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France, including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the retard of France, Francois Hollande, was present.”
It goes on to say:
“[They also targeted] the Bataclan Conference Center where hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party, and other areas in the 10th and 11th and 18th [arrondissements] and in a coordinated fashion, so Paris shook under their feet, and its streets were tight upon them, and the result of the attacks was the death of no less than 100 Crusaders and the wounding of more than those, and thanks be to Allah.”
“And let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the IS, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign.”
It added they
“are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys, and this attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.”
The drummer for the American band who were playing in Paris when ISIS terrorists stormed in has described the moment he saw them open fire.
Julian Dorio, who is not a permanent member of the band but had joined them for their European tour, said he witnessed men with machine guns burst into the Bataclan concert hall last night.
Michael Dorio, the brother of 33-year-old Julian, related his account of what happened inside the Bataclan theater.
“They saw a man with a machine gun just opening fire. They heard more than they could see because of the stage lights.”
“He said Dorio dived on to the floor of the stage with the rest of the band to avoid the gunshots, then crawled towards the back door of the venue before escaping into the street.”
“He said once they got outside they ran until they found a police station where they were taken to safety, before using a borrowed phone to call home.”
All members of the band are safe according to messages from various family members on social media, including frontman Jesse Hughes’ mother.
However, according to a post from the band themselves they are still searching for members of their crew, raising the possibility that there will be American casualties among the 127 killed last night.
The 37-year-old said:
“Julian is ok. He and the rest of the band are safe – they manage to escape out of the back of the theater so luckily they are okay.
He was shaken up but his primary concern now is for the rest of the people still in there.
He’s with the band but some of the crew are still unaccounted for.”
There is no credible or specific threat in the United States, according to a U.S. government official.
An FBI spokesperson said the agency and the Department of Homeland Security were closely monitoring the unfolding events.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Hollande and the people of France.
“Russia strongly condemns this inhumane killing and is ready to provide any and all assistance to investigate these terrorist crimes,” he said.