A Night Of Terror In Paris

Reports of at least up to sixty dead, a hostage situation, and attacks at multiple locations in Paris.

Paris Attack November 13

Paris, France is facing a night of what appears for all the world to be a coordinated series of terrorist attacks consisting of multiple shootings, possible explosions, and what appears to be a hostage situation at a concert venue where an American-based heavy metal band was performing are rocking the city:

PARIS — Shootings and explosions erupted in the Paris area on Friday night, and French news services said at least 39 people were dead, dozens wounded and others taken hostage in what appeared to be coordinated militant attacks.

French television reported that one of at least two explosions had struck near Paris at the country’s main sports stadium, forcing the hasty evacuation of President François Hollande. The explosion occurred during a France-Germany soccer match.

The shooting broke out at a popular concert hall, The Bataclan, where a death metal band was playing, and the France 24 website said dozens of hostages had been taken there.

A witness quoted by BFM television said he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” at The Bataclan.

The police were ordering bystanders in the that area to get off the streets, French television reported.

Other news services and French television quoted the Paris police as saying 39 people had been killed in the 10th and 11th Arrondissements of Paris.

French news media reported that Kalashnikov rifles had been involved in the shootings — a favored weapon of militants who have attacked targets in France — and that many rounds had been fired.

More from the BBC:

At least 18 people have been killed in several shootings in the French capital, Paris, as well as explosions near the Stade de France.

French media say at least 15 people have been killed near the Bataclan arts centre. A hostage taking is under way, with reports of up to 60 held.

At least one man opened fire at a restaurant in the 11th district, causing several several casualties.

Three explosions are also reported outside a bar near the Stade de France.

France were hosting Germany in a friendly and the match continued. It has now ended

A BBC journalist at the Petit Cambodge restaurant says he can see 10 people on the road either dead or seriously injured.

He says police have now arrived and sealed off the area.

An eyewitness told Liberation he had heard more than 100 rounds being fired at a cafe in rue de Charonne.

There are reports of up to six gunmen involved.

Reports say French President Francois Hollande was watching the match at the Stade de France and has been moved to safety.

Mr Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve have gone to the interior ministry.

There are reports of up to six gunmen involved.

Reports say French President Francois Hollande was watching the match at the Stade de France and has been moved to safety.

Mr Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve have gone to the interior ministry.

CNN, meanwhile, is now reporting that up to sixty people are dead:

— At least 60 people have died in the attacks, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

— Counterterrorism officials around the United States have convened secure conference calls to try to gather information and to assess whether there is any indication of threats in the U.S, according to two U.S. counterterrorism officials. There is nothing to indicate any threat to U.S. cities so far. Immediate suspicion for the events in Paris falls to so-called returnees — people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and have returned, the officials said.

— At least six shootings took place in Paris and three explosions took place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis late Friday, CNN affiliate BFMTV said. Two or three gunmen entered the Bataclan concert hall while opening fire on law enforcement, BFMTV reported. A source earlier told CNN there were six to eight hostage takers, citing a person they were talking to inside the venue.

— CNN’s Jim Bittermann, who is based in Paris, reports a producer who is at the Bataclan tells him that police are firing at a rooftop position near the venue.

— President Francois Hollande was evacuated at halftime of the France-Germany soccer match.

— Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve are holding a crisis meeting at the Interior Ministry to address the attacks in Paris and the explosions in Saint-Denis, according to BFMTV.

— Paris police tell CNN there were three attacks. Attackers reportedly used AK-47 automatic weapons. There were one or two explosions at the Stade de France.

As noted, one of the attacks appears to have occurred outside the stadium where a soccer match was being played between the French and German national teams were playing, at which the President of France Francois Hollande was present before being taken to a secure location. Some reports are saying that these explosions were suicide bombers who exploded devices outside the stadium but that has yet to be confirmed. At the very least, though, at least some of the explosions can be heard in this Vine video from part of the soccer match:

There are also reports of a hostage situation of a hostage situation at a theater where a concert was being held by an American rock band called Eagles of Death Metal and there are reports of people who say that they are inside the concert venue saying on social media that the hostage takers are killing people one by one as we speak. French police have apparently taken up position outside the theater but the situation inside is unclear and unconfirmed at this time. There are reports that at least 100 people are being held inside the theater and dozens dead and injured outside the venue. Obviously, the news above is already probably out of date, but it appears fairly clear that this is going to be a horrible night for the French people, and the rest of the world. If nothing else, these attacks bring to mind the 2008 attacks at multiple hotels in Mumbai, India and carried out by Muslim extremists linked to radicals in Pakistan. President Obama has just finished speaking from the White House press room offering American support to France as needed, and French President Hollande has declared a state of emergency and closed French borders, much like what happened in the wake of January’s attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that resulted in a search for the perpetrators that lasted for a number of days before it was completed. Here in the United States, it’s being reported that security is being increased in New York City, Washington, D.C., and other potentially vulnerable areas if only as a precaution. Update: France24’s live coverage of the ongoing attacks is available here, in English. Update #2: The Deputy Mayor of Paris reports on CNN that the siege that the concert hall is over, and says that he expect the death toll to rise “significantly” by morning:

And from the Deputy Editor of The Daily Beast a report from Agence-France Presse, that, if true, is horrifying:

Apparently, this is just from the concert hall alone according to reports:

Update # 3: French President Hollande is blaming ISIS for the attack and vowing revenge.

More updates if and when warranted, but obviously this is a story that will likely be unfolding over a number of days at least.

 

FILED UNDER: National Security, Terrorism, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pinky says:

    I hate to comment about the most unimportant part of the story, but Eagles of Death Metal aren’t a heavy metal band. Here’s hoping that a lot more of the reported facts of the story turn out to be false.

  2. @Pinky:

    That description was part of the initial media reporting when the band was identified. Having read their wikipedia page, I’ve removed the reference to “heavy metal.”

  3. MikeSJ says:

    This is horrifying. That people can commit these acts against innocent people.

    I don’t even know what the terrorist want at this point. Just mindless savagery – like rabid dogs in a pack.

    I pray the police can get the hostages rescued and end this as quickly as possible.

  4. Lit3Bolt says:

    I think casualties are going to go into the triple digits, because the murderers at the concert hall have had all the time they need to finish off the wounded.

    I wonder if this is an ISIS retaliation attack for the successful recent airstrikes. France seems to have quite a few cells at the moment. I think the reaction against this attack will be a lot stronger than the one on Charlie Hebdo, for good or for ill.

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    @Lit3Bolt: My guess is although there may be some ISIS or al Queda inspiration it was carried out by the vast number of disenfranchised French Algerian citizens.

  6. CSK says:

    According to the ISIS Twitter feed, this is in revenge for the attacks on Syria. One comment of note: “Purge the western pigs.” There’s a lot of allahu akbar-ing and vows to join the battle: “O crusaders we are coming to you (sic).”

  7. CSK says:

    The New York Times is reporting over 100 dead now in the concert hall alone. There have been attacks at eight locations.

  8. M U C NH BOX G R A D says:

    Maybe you Lapdogs on this site can notify the Good Professor —>>What is inexplicable to me is that anyone would use the concept of “existential threat” to apply to a group like ISIS ~Prof Taylor (Good thing you have your safe space and healing roooooms to go back to)…maybe to explain his position a little better… explain to the trolls like me how the Zero has been facilitating the demise of the JV team into the position of retreat with his “incoherent strategy”

    and just be clear Hi Doug. Miss me? You can ask James for me why he deleted my comments over on Joe Biden ( aka the vice president LOL) sings about shotguns.

    …the people all over Europe will need as many double barrel shotguns as possible soon.

  9. JKB says:

    National Review has a tally of 153 dead. 114 at the theater alone. State owned/run venues in Paris will be shut tomorrow, which in France means most things will be closed, so the populous will have little to do but sit at home and dwell on the state-sanctioned killers in their midst.

    Open borders/ uncontrolled immigration just went radioactive. Merkel’s toast. The EU is done given the malfeasance of the bureaucrats as they welcomed the killers.

  10. Mu says:

    Don’t assume too much of a direct change. There’s simply no mechanism in most of Europe to allow for a rapid change in politics. Neither France nor Germany have scheduled major elections before 2017, and there’s no way for “the people” to force earlier change short of a revolution. And that’s pretty unlikely.

  11. Slugger says:

    Nos pensees et nos coeurs sont avec vous, notre plus vielle allie.

  12. Matt says:

    So is this when Micheal Reynalds shows up to blame the NRA and the lack of “sensible” gun control for this tragedy?

  13. Rafer Janders says:

    @Matt:

    What is wrong with you, you vile little man? You should be ashamed of yourself.

  14. Matt says:

    @Rafer Janders: Well he does it every other time so I figured I’d get out ahead of him this time.

  15. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Matt:

    Hey! Did you know, that our soldiers, who have all sorts of guns, sometimes get ambushed and die? It’s true! Do you know how you can protect yourself 100% safely at all times from a suicidal attacker in a free society? You can’t! Did you know that you can have a gun, even concealed in your waistband, and you still die because some random crazy person just shot you in the back of the head while you were watching a movie or a concert? It could happen!

    I bet your right arm salutes to the NRA will change smart-quick once home grown ISIS radicals start buying AR-15s and modifying them in their own homes. Maybe gun control will be a solution then…but only for CERTAIN people, y’know, not all those good ol’ boy white terrorists, they were just misunderstood, poor things.

  16. Rafer Janders says:

    @Matt:

    Learn some shame, you sad little person. You are disgusting.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    how the Zero has been facilitating the demise of the JV team into the position of retreat with his “incoherent strategy”

    Yes of course, because the one thing that will stop terrorism from Islamic extremists will be putting an even larger Western military presence in the Muslim world…

    Open borders/ uncontrolled immigration just went radioactive.

    Indeed…the best way to combat terrorism is to make sure that none of the brown people are allowed into your country…

  18. Matt says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Do you know that nothing you said had anything to do with what I said?

    Keep beating that strawman though because otherwise you might actually have to expand your knowledge some….

    Frankly if I was involved with Daesh I wouldn’t even bother with buying AR-15s. Much easier to just buy a laser sintering machine and print real machine guns.

    BTW calling them ISIS is complimenting them. The arab acronym for them is DAESH and funny enough that is roughly an arabic word that translates to “to crush underfoot”. I’ve also been told it can be interpreted as “Bigots who impose their views” or something of that effect. Regardless DAESH executes people for calling them that so it can’t be considered good on their part.

  19. Matt says:

    @An Interested Party: I can’t figure out why people think that if ONLY WE BOMBED THEM MORE THEY”D STOP HATING US!!!!

    It’s just stupid and I know for a fact a majority of those same people would be raging mad if the roles were reversed.

    @Lit3Bolt: BTW a family member of mine died to an IED in Iraq years ago. Many of my family and friends are in the service and I’m extremely well aware of what goes on.

  20. Matt says:

    @Lit3Bolt: BTW a family member of mine died to an IED in Iraq years ago. Many of my family and friends are in the service and I’m extremely well aware of what goes on.

  21. CSK says:

    According to the NY Times, Hollande has directly blamed ISIS, referring to it as “Daesh.” Different news agencies give different reports of the death toll: between 127 and 158.

  22. Tyrell says:

    The world just became more dangerous. Nations need to unite in joint action efforts to get rid of these terrorist groups. That will not happen through wishful thnking, waiting to see what happens, talking about it, abuse excuses, blaming it on the western culture, denial, waiting on someone else to do it, or some sort of accommodation.
    Hillary, or whoever the next president is will be very busy.Things have changed once again.
    The second horseman has been unleashed.

  23. JKB says:

    @An Interested Party: Indeed…the best way to combat terrorism is to make sure that none of the brown people are allowed into your country…

    The best way to combat terrorism is to vet those entering your country and stopping those who are enemy agents and soldiers bent on your destruction. This will bleed over to the US southern border illegal immigration in that both violent criminals from the area are entering the US and also, with no controls, enemy Islamic terrorists can enter the US with impunity.

  24. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    This will bleed over to the US southern border illegal immigration

    If you’re worried about border-crossing terrorists, look to the north. There’s too much heat in the south, not only from interdiction-related law enforcement efforts, but cartel activity too.

    Of course, the likeliest entry point for any prospective terrorist will probably be an international airport in a major city. And that’s if you have to import them. A lot of these pricks are homegrown now.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    If we look back in history, the world has had periods like this before–it’s just that with present-day firepower the death rate can be much higher.

    Anarchists (1890 to start of WWI). They didn’t call themselves religious, but killing in the name of God and killing in the name of a future society is a distinction without a difference, it seems to me.

    Assassins (much earlier. Also religious fanatics, remember.)

    Then there’s the Real IRA, the Bader-Meinhof gang, etc. etc. and so forth. A certain percentage of humanity seems to think that living in equilibrium in society isn’t good enough and blowing people up with bombs or otherwise killing them somehow will fix matters. When you are convinced that what you are doing is God’s Will, it just gets even messier.

    Some people don’t deserve to live in society. I’d parcel off a large part of territory somewhere that had no population and nothing but scrub brush, dump these idiots into the middle of it with as many guns and bullets as they would like, and tell them to learn how to live by themselves, especially with no other technology.

  26. Tyrell says:

    Both of your points are valid and very appropriate. They are already here.
    The Canadian border is heavily forested and harder to patrol. They did stop an attack a couple of years ago when someone tried to cross over with a trunk of explosives.
    The countries of Europe opened the gates and let the refugee people in without a thorough security and background check. Then they do not monitor them once they get in. Big mistake. I look for some of those countries to really tighten up their borders now; back to cold war conditions.

  27. Scott says:

    Given that 40% or more illegal immigrants come by air, this focus on the borders is rather silly and geared toward emotional satisfaction. Militarization of the border is both cost ineffective and operationally ineffective. If the problem is terrorists slipping into the country (presumeably without weapons or bombs, since those are so easy to obtain once here), then sound police work is more effective than military solutions.

  28. WR says:

    @Matt: Congratulations. You were the first poster to use this to promote his own little ideological hobby horse. (Excluding the ones who hate brown people, but at least they’re sort of on topic.) It must make you proud to take the deaths of innocent people and use them to score points about how wonderful you are for worshipping guns.

    A man would apologize for this disgusting post. At the very least you might consider just shutting up for a while.

  29. WR says:

    @JKB: Oh, goodie, first there’s Matt with his gun-licking, now JKB with his immigration obsession. Yes, there is no rightwing bugaboo that can’t be advanced through terror.

  30. ernieyeball says:

    Never forget when contemplating the trolls among us…

    Anybody can be an azzhole.
    It doesn’t take any talent
    and it’s nothing to be proud of.

  31. al-Ameda says:

    The Clown Car stopped long enough for Trump to weigh in.

    From Time.com, today:
    Donald Trump said Saturday that the terrorists who wreaked havoc in Paris would have spilled less blood if more French citizens carried guns.

    “When you look at Paris, toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns but the bad guys,” the Republican presidential candidate said during an appearance in Texas, in remarks broadcast by CNN. “Nobody had guns. And they were just shooting them one by one, and then they broke in and had a big shootout and ultimately killed the terrorists.”

  32. Tyrell says:

    @An Interested Party: “brown people ” : that is not the deal here. What needs to be stopped from coming in are the terrorists people, the criminal people, the drug lord people, the violent people, and the gang people.
    This is not some race issue. It is a crime issue. So don’t try that on us.

  33. Grewgills says:

    Tyrell, if it weren’t about ‘brown people’ then there wouldn’t be such disproportionate attention to our southern border. We have another porous border to the north and a plurality of illegal immigrants are visa overstays that come in via air rather than across our southern border.

  34. grumpy realist says:

    @al-Ameda: Gee, if we sum up the number of people who have been killed so far in France due to terrorists, and compare it to the number of people in the US who have died due to random gun violence (leaving out suicide), guess which country will STILL have the higher death rate?

  35. Matt says:

    @WR: Yes pointing out how hypocritical MR can be is totally my hobby horse..

    Your hobby horse appears to be assaulting strawmen.

    @grumpy realist: Random gun violence is extremely rare. The vast majority of murders are committed by people who knew their target. Of those the vast majority are related to criminal activities. So avoid being a criminal or hanging out with nutcases and you just made it far more likely that a million other things will kill you. Even if you still engage in criminal activity with nutcases you’re by far more likely to die in a car accident.

    @Grewgills:
    @at the comments about our borders.

    As stated above the most likely point of entry would be the northern border or via airplane.

    The southern border is watched heavily and there are checkpoints hundreds of miles IN COUNTRY from the south. Not to mention the cartel getting pissy about an outside group wanting to come in and make their life many times harder.

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