From the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, one of the first quoted attackers was overheard saying, “I am from ISIS” and IS on Twitter is saying that this is France’s September 11th. If this is Daesh, or simply another reckless claim from them, it is unclear and will be for some time. Daesh, or IS and Al Qaeda are historically well noted for accepting responsibility for attacks and incidents of which they played no part.  Terrorist organizations act as drunken public relations agents, assigning their brand to anything which may further perpetrate their message as they use the media as free advertisement.

Claims aside, eight fanatics armed with assault weapons and wearing suicide vests targeted innocent civilians in Paris. They launched a synchronized attack on six locations throughout the city of Paris on the 13th of November, 2015; where they murdered 133 people, and wounded another 352, of those, 99 are in critical condition. At 21:30 local, terrorists entered the Bataclan Theater and opened fire, after a hostage stand-off with French authorities, one hundred were dead. On the corner of Rue de Charone and Rue Faidherbe, eighteen were murdered by a gunman at a restaurant. A Le Caillon, a gunman at another restaurant murdered fourteen. Two explosions at the Stadium, Stade de France, where the French President was enjoying a soccer match. Three suicide bombers with vests loaded with explosives and nails detonated themselves while attempting entry into the stadium; two at the gates after being discovered and another at a nearby McDonalds; one was killed.

The root of the attack was not an immediate issue as emergency responders and government officials scrambled to control the damage on the ground. The Agence France-Presse struggled to keep up with the rising dead from the attack on the theater alone. A total of six attacks have rocked Paris and the death toll continues to rise as attacks which included three suicide bombers and several shootouts. Across Paris, shootings near Petit Cambodge in the 10th Arrondisement [Paris administrative district], three explosions near a Paris stadium where France and Germany were engaged in a soccer match, and at a concert hall where the American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal was playing.

French President François Hollande, cancelled his trip to the G20 meeting in Turkey and held a 14 09:00 November 2015, defense council, at the presidential palace to discuss action and options from this attack. Immediate reactions were to declare a state of national emergency, mobilize the military, close the Paris Metro System, the Paris Orly Airport; only outbound travel was restricted, and the first city-wide curfew since 1944 was enacted. The French interior ministry deployed 1,500 soldiers into Paris for increased security, according to France 24. Analysts are now speculating on the possible invocation of Article Five of the NATO treaty, essentially meaning; an attack on one is an attack on all. The United States invoked this article following the 9/11 attacks.

German authorities are investigating a suspect, who was arrested in Bavaria, last week with assault weapons and explosives as having ties to the Paris attack. Another delayed German reaction, as SOFREP reported that “weeks ago that the French National Police were meeting with the German BKA federal police and BND federal intelligence service to discuss an imminent pre-planned terrorist attack in Paris.” Officials in Belgium have announced three additional arrests, after conducting raids on suspected targets; one linked to a rental car found in Paris and to the attacks.  Poland’s prospective minister for European affairs has stated that Poland will not observe a European Union plan to accept migrants without “a guarantee of safety.” The attack has rippled across Europe’s free-travel or Schengen Zone, leading to an emergency tightening of security across the once open borders.

French police assist a victim near the Bataclan. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)
French police assist a victim near the Bataclan. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

President Hollande, after meeting with his defense council, declared three days of national mourning and has raised France’s national security to its highest level. President Hollande, leaning on the current assumptions and similar statements by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry that the attacks were carried out by IS, saying that IS “a terrorist army … a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.” Thus assigning official blame to IS and further calling the attacks an “act of war” and that France “Will be merciless towards the barbarians of [the] Islamic State group.” Meanwhile IS ostensibly, rolled out a statement via social media, as their supporters and contenders battled out blame under the Twitter hashtag “باريس_تشتعل#“.

The terrorist organization IS, under the anonymity of the web, has claimed responsibility in several online statements in both Arabic and French; which has been subsequently circulated by the groups’ supporters. The statement itself is full grandiose claims and heavily relies on Islam as justification and the insane premises for the attacks. “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,” the statement also reads, in part, “and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign.” The message goes on to disregard France’s airstrikes in support of U.S. led Operation Inherent Resolve, noting that France’s air power was “of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris.” It has not been possible to confirm the legitimacy of the claim, but the graphics released bears their logo and resembled previous verified statements from the group; a full translation is available via the SITE Intelligence Group.

During the attack, there was the simultaneous incident at a migrant camp in Calais; nicknamed ‘Jungle’ which was set ablaze, following days of clashes with French authorities. As a set of no-less-than six incidences of explosions and gunfire exploded in Paris. One of the attackers is reported to have said “This is for Syria“. A plausible cause for concern as the migrant crisis has been an epidemic on European Union policy and procedure. Migrant inflow into mainland Europe has been overwhelming for officials and many are not who they claim to be; often providing falsified documentation to authorities. As many 680, 400 people have migrated in thus far in 2015 alone, with an expected 1.3 million by years end. Of which, 6,000 are reported to have joined IS; many of whom maintain citizenship in their home nations, allowing them to freely travel back and forth to Iraq and Syria.