ISIS terrorists composed of three teams staged coordinated attacks at six locations throughout Paris starting the night of Friday, November 13 until Saturday morning. The attacks left over 129 killed and 352 wounded.
The attacks happened in various different locations including restaurants, a concert hall and a stadium. Bataclan concert hall was the deadliest site with at least 89 people killed.
Three attackers with assault rifles arrived in a car, entered the concert venue, and opened fire. They took audience members hostage and regrouped them in front of the stage.
Police later stormed the theater in a rescue operation. Two of the attackers killed themselves by detonating code belts, and one was killed by police gunfire, detonating the terrorist’s suicide belt.
Eagles of Death, metal blues rock band from Palm Desert, California, had been performing at the time. Victims thought the initial gunfire was just part of the show.
A witness told Radio France that the attackers entered the room firing pump action rifles.
“They shot at us like birds,” says a witness to CNN news.
Restaurants and bars were also attacked. Fifteen people were killed as attackers opened fire in the 10th district of Paris near the canal Saint Martin. Many victims were gathered at Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon.
Seven minutes later, five were killed in another shooting outside Cafe Bonne Biere on the corner of rue de la Fontaine au Roi and Fauboura du Temple in the 11th district of Paris.
Around four minutes after that, attackers opened fire with assault weapons on the restaurant La Belle Equipe on rue de Charonne also in the 11th district. This attack killed 19 people.
Four more minutes and a suicide bomber blew himself up at the cafe Comptoir Voltaire on the boulevard Voltaire, leaving one critically wounded.
Four more people were killed outside the Stade de France sports stadium when the attackers could not get inside. Three suicide bombers detonated themselves and killed a man who had been walking by.
France, at the time, was playing Germany in a soccer match. Witness Gabriel Haddad said two explosions could be heard in the background during the match.
Authorities say that three explosions occurred over a 32 minute radius outside the stadium – two immediately outside and one over 400 meters away.
French President Francois Hollande was at the stadium and among those who were evacuated following the attacks.
Hollande says the attacks were planned in Syria and organized in Belgium. Authorities believe the terrorists were communicating through Android phones on apps like “WhatsApp” and using inscription. The inscription code being used has proven so hard to crack that governments are putting out calls for help to Silicon Valley and the creators of the app.
Likewise, the group Anonymous is working to crack the code and have threatened to release cyber attacks against ISIS. The group has already proven successful in hacking over 5200 ISIS accounts.
Five of seven people detained over the weekend in Belgium were released, but the other two remain under arrest for “attempted terrorism and participation in the activities of a terrorist group.” In France, 104 people are under house arrest and 23 in custody.
As of now, authorities confirm there is at least one suspect still on the loose. Salah Abdeslam was stopped near the Belgium border shortly after the attacks Friday night, but was let go since he was not yet a suspect.
Abdeslam rented the apartment in Bobigny where the attackers coordinated their attacks up to a week prior. He also rented the two cars believed to be used in the attack; one of the cars held three Kalashnikov automatic rifles inside.
French newspaper “Le Monde” reports Abdeslam’s older brother, Ibrahim Abdeslam, was a suicide bomber whose explosives detonated a cafe.
Following the attacks, Hollande has declared a three month state of emergency, which allows authorities to limit the movement of people and impose zones of protection and security.
France has also tightened its border controls, put the gendarmerie parliamentary police on heightened alert, and ordered 1500 military troops to join the increased security forces.
The attacks on Paris have had repercussions around the world, including, but not limited to, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Many nations find themselves on heightened terror alerts after ISIS released a video promising more attacks, and the CIA director said Paris was not likely a “one-off event.”
“It is scary to think that this is the world we live in, where terrorist attacks are not thought to be a one time occurrence,” says sophomore Breanna Craparotta.
Belgian officials called off a soccer match in Brussels on Tuesday, November 17 between Belgium and Spain due to security concerns. Belgium has also raised its terror alert level to a three out of four.
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a three billion dollar plan for additional funding to be spent on the country’s military forces to fight terror. He also addressed a controversial bill that he says will ensure that British authorities have the ability and power to follow terrorist movements by tracking and intercepting communications.
ISIS has recently released a video threatening to attack countries taking part in airstrikes on the groups’ stronghold and promising to attack the United States.
The video opens, horridly, with footage of the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
In wake of the attack and video, US officials have stepped up security – including New York City and Washington D.C. – but assured the public that there are no credible threats.
On Monday, November 26, CIA director John Brennan told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that it was “inevitable” that ISIS will try to carry out more attacks in the west, but he stressed, “to me it is not inevitable that they are going to succeed.”
The attacks have not brought fear to Paris, but anger. French warplanes carried out a new round of airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria on Tuesday and the promise these will not be the last. The French have since put out 414 raid attacks and hit 35 major cities in Syria.
There was also an apartment complex attack where they believed to have killed the mastermind of the French attack based on the leftover footprints, palm prints and finger prints. The attack revealed the alleged mastermind was a 27-year-old French citizen.
Since ISIS claimed responsibility for blowing up the Russian plane, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has bomber Syria 127 times in a day and promises this is only the beginning.
Hollande is planning on visiting Russia and the U.S. to try and establish a combined task-force and work together.
Despite the violence, the attacks have prompted the world to stand up in solidarity with Paris.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement saying, “Tonight we are all Parisians,” following the attacks.
Around the world, cities expressed the same sense of solidarity with Paris by lighting landmarks, including the Freedom Tower and Sydney Opera House, in the colors of the French flag.
Despite the sense of unification with Paris, at least 31 states in the US have said they will not accept any refugees from Syria despite the government’s goal to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees.
So far, the U.S. has only taken in 1,200 people, since the vetting process can take over a year.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went as far as to say he is not taking anyone, not even “a five year old orphan.”
Only six states have issued statements saying they will continue to allow the refugees, one of them being New York.
“I just hope we find a way to end all of this soon. We have bigger problems like hunger and illness that we could be focusing on,” says sophomore Justin Leff.
After the last few days, it is evident that “the war with evil is one that must always be fought and can never be won.”