What follows is a brief timeline of the the Paris attacks, as well as many exclusive photographs taken by SOFREP correspondent James Reed.
21:20 Friday: Stade de France
The first explosion happened outside Stade de France at entrance D around 21:20 as France played Germany in a game of football. Moments later, a second blast was heard inside the stadium. Each blast was carried out by a suicide bomber, both wearing similar explosive belts. Both blasts happened on the street of Rue Rimet. French President Francois Hollande was at the stadium watching the match. He was safely evacuated from the venue. Four people were killed outside the venue.
21:25: Shootings at restaurants Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge
Armed with Kalashnikov (AK-47 and AK-74) assault rifles—the most common rifle platform in this part of the world—gunmen arrived in a black vehicle at the corner of Rue Alibert and Rue Bichat in Paris’s 10th district. The masked terrorists killed 15 people at the restaurants Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge. Ten more people were seriously wounded. According to some news sources, over 100 empty cartridges were discovered at the scene by the police. It sounds like a simple drive-by shooting—most likely the gunmen were just dumping mags on full auto as they went by.
21:30: Stade de France
Another blast went off at the stadium, near entrance H.
21:32: Casa Nostra restaurant
At Rue Fontaine au Roi and Rue Faubourg du Temple in Paris’s 11th district, five people were killed and eight others wounded as the terrorists fired into the Casa Nostra restaurant. These gunmen were also driven to the scene in a black vehicle. Once again, somewhere close to 100 empty cartridge cases were found at the scene. They just rocked up, spraying rounds.
21:36: La Belle Equipe and Sushi Maki
A black vehicle arrived, loaded with terrorists, at a restaurant called La Belle Equipe at 92 Rue de Charonne. The gunmen unloaded their AKs on people sitting outside. Nineteen people were killed and nine more were seriously wounded. Like the previous attacks, a large number of shell casings were discovered at the scene.
21:40: Comptoir Voltaire
A suicide bomber blew himself up inside the restaurant Comptoir Voltaire at 253 Boulevard Voltaire in the 11th district. The bomber used a vest packed with explosives, similar to those used at Stade de France. Many inside the restaurant were seriously injured, while others escaped with only minor injuries.
21:40: The Bataclan theater
Three terrorists, armed with AKs, rolled up to the Bataclan in a black VW Polo. The three gunmen entered the small concert hall where American rock band Eagles of Death Metal were performing. The gunmen unloaded their rifles, killing 89 people. The terrorists fired at people as they lay on the floor, killing them execution-style. The attackers were said to have entered the building firing their rifles and chanting “Allahu akbar!”
21:53: Near Stade de France
About 400 meters from the Stade de France, a third blast detonated on Rue de la Cokerie between a McDonald’s and the sports stadium. The remains of a suicide bomber were later discovered.
12:20 Saturday: Raid upon the Bataclan
Elite police units entered the Bataclan more than two hours after the terrorists killed 89 people. Three terrorists were killed during the police raid. One of them was killed by one of the elite policemen when, during the gunfight, the policeman’s round struck the explosive chest rig the terrorist was wearing. The other two blew themselves up using their suicide vests as police entered. Hostages fled the Bataclan concert hall at 01:09.
This is a cursory timeline of the events of that terrible night. What are the French doing now?
- A state of emergency has been declared.
- Troops and police are on every street, numbering up to 115,000.
- President Francois Hollande calls the attacks an act of war against France and begins bombing ISIS positions in Syria.
- Over 130 raids have since taken place throughout France. A total of 23 people have been arrested and dozens of weapons seized in a series of raids on suspected Islamist militants throughout France.
- French prosecutors identified Moroccan/Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud as the mastermind behind the Paris attacks. Abaaoud is thought to be in Syria.
- Two of the seven people arrested in Belgium on Saturday were charged with terror offences. Five have been released, including a brother of two of the suspected terrorists.
- French police are still hunting for Salah Abdeslam, thought to be one of the gunmen. Reports that he had been detained during a raid in the Belgian town of Molenbeek turned out to be false.
- Italian police have been alerted to look out for a black car thought to be connected to the attacks that may have crossed into Italy.
- Here in Paris, four days after the attacks, life has resumed, and the closed areas have been opened up to the public. The feelings here have not changed; when you visit the scenes of these attacks, people are angry. Even days later, hundreds of people are turning up at these sites to pay their respects. People are picking themselves up after this attack, and there is hope in the air. When I was out last night, people were filling the bars and diners. Laughing could be heard and people seemed to be having a good night. This can only be a good thing. I really hope things pick up and life goes back to normal here in Paris. It’s such a good place.