ISIS affiliated terrorist attacks kill 129 in Paris

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TNS

On the third day of national mourning, the Eiffel Tower was lighted in the national colors after going dark on Nov. 16, 2015 in Paris. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

On November 13, the world watched in horror as terrorist attacks unfolded in Paris, France. Shootings and bombs detonated by  the terrorists caused the death of 129 people.

Seven men resumed positions at six different locations around the city of Paris to carry out the terrorist attacks on innocent civilians Friday night. The locations were carefully thought out, and it is clear the attacks were no mere coincidence. The targets included The Bataclan concert hall with an ongoing live concert, the Stade de France during a soccer game, and several restaurants around the city.

At 9:20 PM in France, the attacks began as an explosion occurred outside the Stade de France while a soccer game between Germany and France was going on. Seconds later, a second explosion deployed. It was later concluded that suicide bombers set off the explosions. There were four civilian deaths involved in the explosions. The president of France, Francois Hollande, who was attending the game, was safely evacuated from the stadium. At 9:25, masked attackers arrived at two restaurants in Paris’ 10th district and began firing at innocent civilians. Fifteen people were killed at the La Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, along with ten more wounded. At the same time, three more terrorists were involved in another shooting in the 11th district at the bar A La Bonne Biere, killing five people and injuring eight. The highest number of deaths at a restaurant occurred at La Belle Equipe, where nineteen people dining outside were killed and nine were hurt.

Begininng at 9:40, three men arrived at the Bataclan to carry out their plan. While the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal performed, the terrorists opened fire. The men shot at people laying on the floor, killing them execution style. The audience members were grouped in the front of the stage and killed. It was also reported that the attackers made a tribute to Syria and Iraq, and shouted “Allah Akbar”, or “God is greater”, before firing. The attack lasted twenty minutes, and eighty-nine lives were taken. At 9:53 PM, a third blast went off outside the Stade de France. The death toll finalized to 129 after all of the attacks, and 352 civilians were wounded.

Two hours following the slaughtering in the Bataclan, French police entered the concert hall and all three terrorists were killed during the counterassault. The other terrorists activated their suicide belts and were killed. All seven terrorists involved in the barbarous attacks were killed by police force or suicide belt detonating. More men are believed to be behind the attacks. Police are on a hunt for an eighth suspect named Salah Abdeslam. The mastermind of the attack, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed November 18 by French police in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris.

ISIS wasted no time in claiming responsibility for the terrorist acts. The attacks were clearly planned and thought out. ISIS used encrypted communications in order to avoid surveillance. Some of the terrorists were French civilians. One of the attackers was disguised as “Ahmad Al Mohammad”, a deceased Syrian military troop, and the terrorist was identified as a Syrian refugee. ISIS announced possible motives for the attack being the disdain to the foreign policy of President Francois Hollande in relation to Muslims around the world, or retaliation to the French airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the country of France quickly responded with force. President Hollande declared France at war, and he began working to intensify France’s bombing campaign in Syria. France is seeking a resolution with the United Nations to fight the war on terrorism. Dozens of investigations began over individuals thought to be involved. The French Air Force also carried out bombing missions over Raqqa. So far, France has conducted 168 raids with 23 captured suspects, and 100 are under house arrest under French authority. On November 17, Russia and France hit Islamist militants in Syria with air strikes. French authorities killed the “ringleader” of the attacks on Paris, Abdelhamid Abaaoud in a raid.

Around the world, countries offered support to France. Monumental buildings around the world lit up with blue, white, and red to remember the lives lost in Paris. Social media allowed for millions to show support by changing their profile pictures to sport the Paris flag, and the #prayforparis hashtag was used by thousands. President Obama and Vladmir Putin sent support to President Hollande, along with many other country representatives.