Paris terror attacks updates: Coordinated assaults were planned in Belgium, U.S. sources say
What we know
- Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. French President Francois Hollande vowed to use “all means anywhere, inside or outside the country” to defeat the “terrorist army.”
- The coordinated attacks hit six sites in Paris beginning at 9:20 p.m. local time on Friday.
- The death toll stands at least 129, and the toll is likely to rise. More than 350 people were injured.
- The largest number of victims died at the Bataclan concert hall, where the Southern California band Eagles of Death Metal was playing a sold-out show. All of the band members have been reported safe .
- At least one American, a college student from El Monte, Calif. , died in the attacks.
- The Paris prosecutor told reporters on Saturday there were at least seven attackers, and that those attackers are dead.
- U.S. sources said the attacks were apparently planned in Belgium , where several people have been arrested.
- Much of Paris is closed for business, and Hollande called for three days of mourning.
- It was Europe’s worst terrorist attack since bombs on Madrid’s transport system killed nearly 200 people in March 2004.
For ongoing coverage of the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, see our full coverage.
The war on terror is similar to the Cold War in that it is a long, twilight struggle; but it is different in that when we quash one group, another mutates into existence.
Paul Ryan, Pasadena
Infiltrate every stronghold to guide attacks and carry out assassinations. Target every training camp for destruction. Operate drones and aircraft continuously. Anybody who moves, dies.
Sid Pelston, Marina del Rey
We can only hope that this Paris massacre will not be repeated on American soil and that Obama, and not necessarily all those involved in his administration, will finally recognize that the Islamic State problem is indeed an Islamic extremist issue. Until one can define who the enemy is, there can be no victory.
John T. Chiu, Newport Beach
Islamic State has not only committed an act of barbarity by killing innocent people, but it has also hijacked the word Islam for its evil designs.
Aziza Faruqi, Austin, Texas
The Times Editorial board notes that after the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January, it was clear that France wasn’t immune to acts of violence motivated by a warped interpretation of Islam. It was also foreseeable that that risk would increase with France’s participation in the launching of airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria as well as Iraq.
Still, Friday’s orchestrated carnage in Paris — for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility — came as a shock.
Not for the first time, a small but determined group of terrorists has been able to exploit the openness of Western society to commit murder and mayhem on a monstrous scale. Nations such as France and the United States need to find a way to respond to that asymmetric threat without curtailing civil liberties or closing their borders.
Long Beach mayor: Slain student was part of community
Obama leaves for Turkey after being briefed on ‘horrific terrorist attacks’
President Obama met Saturday with his top national security advisers to discuss the Paris terror attacks but made no public statements before departing the White House just after 2 p.m. ET for the Group of 20 summit in Turkey.
A White House statement released after the president departed called the events in Paris “horrific terrorist attacks.”
Obama was briefed on the latest intelligence surrounding the attacks. The White House official said that while there was no specific or credible threat to the U.S, the president reviewed homeland security measures to ensure “we are doing everything necessary to protect the American people.”
The official said the president’s team reviewed the intelligence picture and found “no information to contradict the initial French assessment” blaming the attacks on the Islamic State.
The president directed his team to keep him apprised of the investigation and any relevant intelligence, the official said.
Obama left the White House accompanied by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and other administration officials.
‘It’s the fault of Hollande; it’s the fault of your president’
A number of witnesses to the attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and nearby restaurants have been reporting that the attackers did not cover their faces, which is being interpreted in the French media as evidence that they were on a suicide mission.
They also were described as young, perhaps in their 20s, and speaking in unaccented French. Several concertgoers mentioned hearing them say the words “Syria” and “vengeance.”
“I clearly heard them tell the hostages, ‘It’s the fault of Hollande; it’s the fault of your president. He shouldn’t have intervened in Syria,’ ” Pierre Janaszak, a radio and TV presenter, told the Agence France-Presse news agency. “They also spoke about Iraq.”
Janaszak was sitting in the balcony with his sister and friends when he heard shots coming from below. They hid in a bathroom until police stormed the building.
Another witness, identified only as Jasmine, told BFMTV that the attackers said, “What you are doing to the Syrians, you are going to pay for it now.”
TV analysts have been noting that these attacks weren’t aimed at specific targets, like the attacks in January on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, or a kosher grocery store, but rather seemed to take aim at all of France.
Friday night’s terror attacks in Paris apparently began with a small cell in the neighborhoods of Brussels, Belgium, where French authorities believe that many of the terrorists were recruited and that the attacks were planned and financed, according to two U.S. law enforcement officials who have been advised about the ongoing French probe.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is in its early stages and the French are leading the effort, also said the terrorists likely were familiar with French culture and Paris in particular, and that it was “highly possible” some had lived there.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks and French President Francois Hollande also blamed them, but the sources said the multiple sites and soft targets hit in the attacks pointed to Al Qaeda rather than Islamic State, and they stressed that authorities are still trying to pin down who was behind the attacks.
Updates on the attackers
The Paris prosecutor just announced in a news conference:
— Three teams of extremists carried out the coordinated gun and suicide-bombing attacks across the city.
— One of the terrorists had a Syrian passport, and the same passport passed through Greece on Oct. 3.
-- Attackers at Bataclan concert hall mentioned Syria and Iraq during the siege.
— There were six attack sites in all.
— Seven attackers are dead.
— One of the hostage takers at the Bataclan concert hall was born in France.
— A French national was among three people linked to the attacks arrested Saturday morning at the Belgian border.
From the Belgium federal prosecutor’s office:
— Authorities there have made three arrests linked to the attacks.
— The arrests at the Belgian border came after a rental car with Belgian license plates was seen close to the Bataclan theater on Friday night.
—The Times with wires
U.S. Muslims condemn Paris attacks
The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations condemned the terror attacks in Paris on Saturday and called for the American Muslim community to stand in solidarity with France.
The attacks “are alien to our values and our teachings,” Secretary-General Oussama Jammal told the Los Angeles Times.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and Jammal said "[t]hey are nothing more than a bunch of criminals. They are neither Islamic nor a state. Their action is abhorrent.”
Jammal said he hopes people will differentiate between “such criminal groups and the longstanding history of Muslims who have contributed to civilizations.”
“We are all together in this,” he said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations also came out against the attacks on Saturday.
“These savage and despicable attacks on civilians, whether they occur in Paris, Beirut or any other city, are outrageous and without justification,” the organization said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured and with all of France. The perpetrators of these heinous attacks must be apprehended and brought to justice.”
A Cal State Long Beach student was among those killed in the Paris terrorist attacks, the college where she was studying abroad said today.
Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old design student, was part of an international exchange program at the Strate School of Design, according to a statement translated from French and posted on social media by the school’s dean, Dominique Sciamma.
— Corina Knoll and Richard Winton
Against a backdrop of conflicting and competing national interests, a political solution seems far off, and a military solution likely will make things worse.
Scott Martelle, Times Opinion writer
More from Martelle :
The Islamic State went from applauding the attacks on Friday to claiming responsibility on Saturday, though the claim awaits verification. I’m willing to grant it to the terror group. Such inhumane viciousness and the insane self-destructive warping of a faith is how the group engages the world, and Friday’s carnage fits right in. Meanwhile, the civilized world reels, stunned and shocked ....
How this will all play out is as uncertain as life itself. There are no easy solutions here. And it’s clear that the civilized world’s response to the Islamic State has been woefully inadequate.
Video captures horror of escape from theater
A journalist who works for the French newspaper Le Monde captured a grisly and horrifying scene as concertgoers at the Bataclan concert hall desperately tried to escape the gunfire.
The journalist, Daniel Psenny, lives behind the theater and had a vantage point above one of the emergency exits.
A nearly three-minute video he captured shows terrified concertgoers running out of the theater as gunshots ring out. They run around at least one body lying on the ground just outside the exit, and several people drag apparently injured victims down the alley away from the venue. One injured person hopped down the alley, which was stained by blood. Multiple people appear to be hanging onto the side of the building in an apparent attempt to escape the upper floors.
Psenny told his newspaper he opened the door to his apartment building to allow victims in, and was shot in the arm.
Warning: The video below contains very graphic images.
‘Vive la France’
Will Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy experience set her apart from the field tonight?
Tonight’s Democratic debate will now focus heavily on the attacks in Paris and the broader issue of national security. Times’ political writers Noah Bierman look at why the event promises to highlight the clearest contrast yet among the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.and
Arrests in Brussels
Climate change conference will be held as planned
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says a crucial U.N. conference on fighting climate change will be held in Paris as planned, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
Fabius says the conference “will be held with enhanced security measures, but this is an absolutely indispensable action against climate change.” He spoke as foreign ministers met in Vienna to discuss the war in Syria.
So far, 127 world leaders have accepted the invitation to come to Paris for the climate conference, including President Obama.
— Associated Press
Passport at attack site linked to refugee
A Greek official says a Syrian passport found on one of the assailants in Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris belonged to a man who came into the European Union through the Greek island of Leros in October.
Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, in charge of police forces, released the following statement: “On the case of the Syrian passport found at the scene of the terrorist attack.
“We announce that the passport holder had passed from Leros on Oct. 3. where he was identified based on EU rules. ... We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries through which the holder likely passed.
“We will continue the painstaking and persistent effort to ensure the security of our country and Europe under difficult circumstances, insisting on complete identification of those arriving.”
Flowers strewn among the bullet holes
Image of peace was ‘a raw reaction’
I just wanted to share my feeling of solidarity and the message that we needed peace. It was a very raw reaction, not premeditated.
An image created by French graphic designer Jean Jullien has captured attention on social media for its simplicity and message.
Jullien told The Times that he drew it on a piece of paper, took a photo and shared it.
“It’s a graphic tool for people to communication their feelings of solidarity,” he said.
According to Jullien’s website, he is based in London and is one of the co-creators of the Tumblr blog News of the Times.
This post was originally published at 7:19 a.m. and later updated with comments from the artist.
Remainder of Foo Fighters tour canceled
Foo Fighters joined U2 in canceling shows in the wake of the Paris attacks. In a post on its Facebook page, the group said:
It is with profound sadness and heartfelt concern for everyone in Paris that we have been forced to announce the cancellation of the rest of our tour. In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can’t continue right now. There is no other way to say it. This is crazy and it sucks. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt or who lost a loved one.
The attacks in Paris included the killing of at least 100 people at the Bataclan concert hall, where the Southern California band Eagles of Death Metal was playing.
Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play Saturday night in Turin, Italy, followed by two nights in Paris.
Pentagon: Defense secretary speaks to French counterpart
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter spoke by phone Saturday morning with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian to convey his condolences for those killed during Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Carter told Le Drian that “the men and women of the Department of Defense stand with France entirely and are committed to helping France in any way that we can,” a Pentagon statement said. The U.S. and France maintain a close relationship in countering terrorism around in the world including direct action in North Africa, Syria and Iraq, the statement said. Carter reiterated the United States’ commitment to stand by its oldest ally and the two men agreed to remain in close contact in the coming days, the Pentagon said.
— William J. Hennigan
Police: One bomber was Frenchman
The United States Embassy in Paris is working round-the-clock to assist American citizens affected by this tragedy. The U.S. government is working closely with French authorities to identify American victims. We are aware there are Americans among the injured and are offering them the full range of consular assistance.
Mark Toner, State Department spokesman
John Kerry: U.S. and Russia stand against ‘vile, horrendous, outrageous, unacceptable acts’
In a news conference Saturday morning, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced a strengthened resolve to fight the perpetrators of recent attacks in Paris, Beirut and Iraq.
“We are in absolute and total agreement that these kinds of attacks are the most vile, horrendous, outrageous, unacceptable acts on the planet; that under any category — we don’t know who did it, but they are acts of terror,” Kerry said.
Kerry said the attacks stiffened the resolve to “fight back, hold people accountable and stand up for rule of law.”
“We intend to do everything in our power not just to stand with the French, but to stand with all people of decency who know this is wrong, this is evil, and we need to stand up against it,” he said.
Lavrov echoed the sentiment and reiterated the Russian Federation’s stance that there would be no tolerance for terrorist acts.
“And just like there is no justification for terrorist acts, which is the position of the Security Council, I believe, as John said, there will be no justification for us not doing much more to defeat ISIL, al-Nusrah, and the like,” he said.
-- Sameea Kamal
France’s new reality: Possible curfews; thousands more troops and police on patrol
In the wake of Friday night’s attacks in Paris, France’s interior minister has authorized local authorities to impose curfews if needed, the Associated Press reported.
In a televised address, Bernard Cazeneuve said authorities are also banning all public demonstrations until Thursday. He laid out increased security measures across the country, including the posting of thousands more troops and police and special protection for certain public buildings.
Syrian passport found on body of suicide bomber at Paris stadium
Police said Saturday that a Syrian passport was found on the body of a suicide bomber at the Stade de France, one of the six sites attacked during Friday night’s violence in and around Paris.
Islamic State claims responsibility for attacks
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris that killed at least 127 people on Friday night.
The group released a statement on Saturday, saying eight of its members “wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles” targeted Parisian sites.
The statement was released shortly after French President Francois Holland, during an address to the nation, blamed Islamic State for the violence.
French president blames Islamic State for attacks; at least 127 dead
French President Francois Hollande, in an address to the nation on Saturday, announced that the death toll in the Paris attacks had reached 127, and he blamed Islamic State for the carnage.
“It’s an act of war that’s been declared…This is an act of barbarity,” Hollande said.
He said the attacks on the sites were “committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, 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.”
He said France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.” France “will act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country.”
He also declared a three-day period of mourning “in the framework of a state of emergency.”
“The country is in pain,” he said. “I call on the parliament ... on Monday to bring the nation together in this trial. France is strong. She may be wounded, but she always rises up again, and nothing can damage her, despite the grief. France is valiant, and will triumph over this barbarity.”
-- Kim Murphy
Because what happened in France could happen anywhere in the world,” she said. “We say it every time, we hope it is the last time.”
Samia Maktouf, a Paris lawyer
Buildings light up to show solidarity with France
Many buildings and monuments around the world used their lights to show solidarity with France within hours of the attacks.
The World Trade Center in New York lighted up its spire in the colors of the French flag:
Mexican Independence Angel Square in Mexico City:
Calgary Tower in Canada:
‘There was a pile of bodies in front of us’
Eyewitness reports from the multiple attack sites in Paris are illustrating the horror of Friday night.
Ben Grant, who was with his wife in a bar that was attacked, told the BBC he was at the back of the bar when the shots started.
“I couldn’t see anything,” he told the BBC. “I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.
“We were held up in the bar because there was a pile of bodies in front of us.”
At the Bataclan concert hall, where the bulk of victims were, Marc Coupris told the Guardian “it was carnage.... It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere....
“I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought, ‘I’m finished, I’m finished.’ I was terrified. We must all have thought the same,” he said.
Coupris, a legal worker, traveled from the French town of Brittany to see the Southern California band Eagles of Death Metal.
Those who survived the concert attack were bused to a special crisis center for psychological support, the AP reported.
Some walked in dazed, the AP reported, with emergency blankets draped over their shoulders.
One person working with the band that was playing when the attacks started was killed at the venue, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Another was shot. That person’s condition is unclear.
Tomorrow’s front page
We will lead the fight. We will be merciless.
French President Francois Hollande, during a visit to the Bataclan early Saturday morning local time
‘Systematic’ border checks reinstated at land crossings
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided additional information about border restrictions in the country Friday night. President Francois Hollande has ordered officials to “immediately reinstate systematic border checks,” the ministry tweeted.
Typically, countries within the European Union have open borders and do not conduct such border checks. However in recent weeks, France had instituted some restrictions at borders in preparation for an upcoming international summit on climate planned for Paris.
Obama calls Hollande to offer condolences
President Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande on Friday evening, the White House said.
Earlier in the day, Obama said he had chosen not to call the French leader because “my expectation is that he is very busy at the moment.”
According to a readout of the call, Obama offered Hollande condolences on behalf of the American people and “reiterated the United States’ steadfast, unwavering support” for France.
Obama repeated his offer of “any necessary support” in the investigation, and both leaders “pledged to work together, and with nations around the world, to defeat the scourge of terrorism,” the White House said.
The two leaders had spoken earlier in the day, before the attacks, in preparation for the G-20 summit starting Sunday in Turkey. Shortly after the attacks, Hollande announced he was canceling his trip to Turkey.
8 assailants dead, 7 by suicide
— Bataclan concert hall, Boulevard Voltaire, 11th arrondissement
— La Belle Equipe cafe, Rue de Charonne, 11th arrondissement
— Le Carillon restaurant, Rue Alibert, 10th arrondissement
— Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, Rue Alibert, 10th arrondissement
— Stade de France stadium, Saint-Denis (at least two explosions nearby)
Front pages after the attacks
Paris police: All attackers believed to be dead
French police say they believe all of the attackers involved in the shootings and bombings in Paris are dead.
Micheal Cadot, the head of Paris police, said early Saturday that while all of the attackers are believed to have died, authorities are searching for possible accomplices in the attacks.
U2 has decided to cancel a Saturday concert in Paris that was set to be broadcast by HBO.
“We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight,” the band said in a statement.
Many of those killed on Friday were victims of an attack at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan theater. None of the band members were injured, relatives told several media outlets.
Paris officials said all city facilities, schools, museums, libraries, gyms, pools and food markets will be closed on Saturday.
Scenes after the attacks
Victims on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant after one of the attacks around the city. Click the photo for more images.
This evening’s horrific and barbaric attacks in Paris were more than an attack on the nation or people of France -- they were an assault on our common human dignity. As NATO allies, as leaders of the counter-ISIL coalition, as nations working shoulder to shoulder from West Africa to the Indian Ocean, the United States and France will only strengthen our resolve. As the president said tonight, in this moment of tragedy the United States stands with the people of France and its vibrant, multicultural democracy. For more than 200 years the United States and France have stood together in friendship. We have stood for the common good and security of all nations. We have never stood closer than we do now. Vive la France.
Ashton Carter, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Source: 4 attackers killed at theater, 3 by ‘suicide vests’
Four assailants were killed in the Bataclan theater, three of them by detonating their “suicide vests,” a federal law enforcement source tells The Times.
The source also said hostages recalled some of the gunmen yelling “Syria” before they opened fire.
Phone numbers for Americans seeking information
Those seeking information about loved ones may use the following numbers provided by the State Department:
From Paris and elsewhere: 001-202-501-4444
In the U.S and Canada.: 1-888-407-4747
Massive closures in Paris on Saturday
Paris city officials have announced significant closures tomorrow, including all city facilities, schools, museums, libraries, gyms, pools and food markets.
In addition, outdoor events are canceled. Only marriage and civil partnership services will be held.
— David Ng
Uber, Air France and Eurostar keep rolling
The ride-hailing app Uber told The Times it has not suspended service in Paris amid the attacks nor has it allowed “surge pricing” where rates go up as demand escalates.
Air France also said flights departing from and arriving to Paris have gone on as planned.
Same goes for train service Eurostar, which said it planned to operate as usual on Saturday. But Eurostar said on social media it would offer free exchanges to anyone no longer desiring to travel on Saturday.
American Airlines, the world’s largest airline company, canceled one Paris-bound flight because of uncertainty following the attacks, but a spokesman said service is now otherwise operating normally.
Scene outside the theater as police moved in
While no one has claimed responsibility for Friday night’s attacks in Paris, here’s a look at some extremist attacks that have occurred throughout Western Europe in the last decade.
On July 22, 2011, an anti-Muslim extremist, Anders Behring Breivik, planted a bomb in Oslo and then attacked a youth camp on Norway’s Utoya Island, killing 77 people, many of them teenagers.
Paris prosecutor: More than 120 dead, five attackers ‘neutralized’
Paris’ public prosecutor, François Molins, told reporters outside the Bataclan theater that the death toll is “higher than 120.”
Five attackers had been “neutralized” by police forces, Molins said.
California band escaped Paris attacks uninjured
Relatives of a California band that was playing at the Bataclan theater in Paris during Friday’s attacks said the members escaped unharmed.
David Ian Hughes, brother of Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse Hughes, said on Facebook that the band was “ok.”
“I hold out hope that as many people as possible make it out ok, as well,” he wrote. “As the situation is still developing, I can not say much else.”
Michael Dorio, the brother of the band’s drummer Julian, told CNN the group was performing when they heard gunshots inside the venue.
The band “stopped playing, hit the deck, and went backstage and exited as fast as they could,” Michael Dorio said.
The Bataclan theater holds about 1,500 people and Michael Dorio told CNN the venue was “sold out and even over-sold.”
—Veronica Rocha and Christine Mai-Duc
‘Pray for Paris’ message pops up on Snapchat
Snapchat, the entertainment app popular among teens and young adults, is letting users share a special “Pray for Paris” banner with their friends.
The message of solidarity is written in French and English on top of France’s tricolor flag.
Snapchat typically creates small banners, which might say “Paris” with a digital sketch of the Eiffel Tower, and users can select them to decorate images they share. But the “Pray for Paris” option from the Venice, Calif.-based company takes up the entire screen.
Snapchat users in Paris have an additional option. They can adorn posts with text that says “Breaking News” and “Paris Attacks.” If enough people share posts from Paris with Snapchat, the company could curate them into a video featured on the app.
That’s led to criticism from some Snapchat users, who found the “Breaking News” option insensitive .
I want to thank the unbelievable work of police officers, who jumped into action this evening. ... We succeeded in saving a lot of lives, so I want to thank the police and emergency workers. This evening is a moment of pain and mourning ... but Paris is still here and standing. ... The joie-de-vivre that is part of this city, [the attackers] have not touched that.
Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris
Eagles of Death Metal band members have been accounted for and are safe, according to someone close to the Palm Desert-based band. Matt McJunkins, the band’s bass player, had tweeted the image above prior to Friday night’s show.
However, the fate of at least two members of the band’s crew remains uncertain.
French officials have said that 100 people were killed inside the Bataclan concert hall, one of six locations where attacks took place Friday evening in Paris.
LAPD monitoring ‘critical sites’ in city as a precaution
Los Angeles police have notified commanding officers and are monitoring “critical sites” across the city in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris, officials said Friday afternoon.
Officer Drake Madison, an LAPD spokesman, stressed there was “no nexus to anything in Los Angeles at this time,” saying the actions taken by the department were done so as a precaution.
“Everybody is very much aware of what’s going on,” he said.
Madison said LAPD divisions were deploying extra patrols near the critical sites within their boundaries, such as power grids and other infrastructure, the Hollywood sign, other tourist locations and Los Angeles International Airport.
Witness: Sound of gunfire froze people in the streets
Alexandra Colineau parked her Autolib on the corner of Rue de Charonne and Boulevard Voltaire and walked across the street to meet her friends for dinner in the 11th arrondissement.
Seconds later, loud popping noises tore through the sounds of chatter on the street. She stopped in her tracks. The people walking on the street near her froze too.
“The sound was very loud, and then I realized the back-to-back shots sounded like a Kalashnikov,” Colineau, 35, said. “It seemed like it went on for 20 seconds.”
Moments later, she said, a black car started honking to get other drivers to leave the area. Colineau reached for her phone. It was 9:39 p.m.
“I heard gunshots,” she texted her friends. “I can smell gunpowder.”
Colineau said she stood on the street for about five minutes before she ran to her friends, who were waiting at a restaurant close by. As she told them what she’d seen, the group pulled out their cellphones to look at Twitter.
That’s when they realized there were shootings at multiple locations in addition to an explosion, she said.
“Now I think I was so stupid to stand there and not run away,” Colineau said. “No one ran away … everyone stood there.”
Parisians love to party, Colineau’s friend said, adding that the attacks were carried out in places young people frequent.
“Friday night in Paris is really the night for going out with your friends and having a good time,” Bahar Makooi, 32, said. “My brother said, ‘It’s all the places I would go to party.’ … They must have wanted to attack people where we go.”
Police in Washington, D.C. are monitoring French-owned sites
Out of an abundance of caution, the District has deployed additional law enforcement resources to French-owned sites and other high-profile locations. There is no imminent threat to the District and MPD will continue to work with partners and monitor the situation closely.
Statement from the D.C. government
Facebook Safety Check activated in Paris
Here’s how it works:
1. Facebook sends a notification to users in the affected area asking whether they’re safe.
2. Users click or tap the “I’m Safe” button to alert friends of their status.
3. The feature lets users check on which of their friends might be affected and whether they are safe.
4. Users can mark their friends in the area safe if they’ve reached them offline.
Check the status of your friends in Paris here.
U.S. presidential candidates comment on attacks
A French official reports that at least 100 victims were killed at the Bataclan Theater in Paris where Eagles of Death Metal, a Palm Desert-based band, played Friday night.
French President Francois Hollande and other top government officials are en route to the venue.
Attacks in Paris took place at six sites.
Blood and screams on a Paris street
A video shared widely via Twitter on Friday appeared to show the moments immediately after one of the attacks. A woman clutching her leg can be seen lying on the ground, not far from what appears to be a large pool of blood in the background.
Dozens of people are milling around, some trying to help the wounded.
I’m following the terrorist attacks in Paris closely. These attacks are diabolical, an effort to kill perfectly innocent people in different locations and situations. There’s no question these are terrorist attacks. The United States stands with France and we’ll do whatever we can to help.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of American citizens in the city, and in the days ahead we stand ready to provide whatever support the French government may require.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry
Hollande cancels trip to G-20 meeting
French President Francois Hollande has canceled his planned trip to Turkey to attend the G-20 meeting scheduled to begin Sunday.
France’s state of emergency also has gone into effect, French officials said.
French, U.S. officials feared extremists would attack again
French and U.S. intelligence analysts have been concerned for months that Islamic extremists would strike Paris again after a series of attacks over two days in January that resulted in 17 people dead, including 11 people killed at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
More than 1,800 French citizens are believed to have traveled to fight with extremists in Syria and Iraq since 2011 and more than 130 have died fighting there so far, according to French government estimates.
To clamp down on potential attackers, French government recently passed a law that forces Internet companies to share data in real time with counter-terrorism authorities and prevents French citizens and residents from leaving the country if they are suspected of plans to join a terrorist group.
The coordinated series of attacks “bears all the hallmarks of international terrorism,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.
“Many hundreds of French citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq, and the risk from those who return is well-known and severe,” Schiff said.
Two or three individuals not wearing masks returned with automatic weapons of the Kalashnikov type and began to fire blindly into the crowd. The attack lasted about a dozen or 15 minutes. It was extremely violent, and there was a wind of panic, everyone was running around and there were scenes of trampling. The assailants had time to reload at least three times. They weren’t masked, they were masters of themselves. They were very young.
Translation of a radio report from a Europe 1 journalist who was in the Bataclan concert hall
At least two attackers killed at the concert hall
The attack is over, unnamed police officials told the Associated Press and other outlets.
It’s not clear how many casualties there were at the theater.
California band trying to determine “whereabouts and safety” of members, crew
The Eagles of Death Metal, a California band that was scheduled to perform at the Bataclan Theater on Friday night, said in a Facebook post that they are still trying to determine the “safety and whereabouts” of the band and crew.
“Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation,” the band wrote.
A relative of the band’s drummer, Julian Dorio, told the Los Angeles Times that Dorio is “okay,” but declined to comment further.
An unknown number of people were being held hostage at the concert hall.
—Veronica Rocha and James Queally
Latest from the FBI
The FBI has set up a command post to help monitor and respond to the attacks in Paris.
FBI officials said they are actively trying to help French authorities. In addition, they are scrubbing open-source channels, going back to human sources and checking all other intelligence sources to determine whether the attacks have any connection to U.S. interests.
As of now, U.S. authorities said they do not know who is responsible.
Witnesses describe carnage, chaos as gunmen storm concert hall
Witness reports from various locations in Paris described the chaos and terror that reportedly erupted at multiple sites in central Paris.
A local resident, identified only as William, told Europe1 that from a fourth floor window, he saw three or four bodies lying in the street just outside a cafe on Rue de Charonne. One of the victims had a “gaping hole in the chest,” the resident told the radio station. “They fired everywhere,” William said, adding that the shoot-out lasted “several minutes.”
A BBC reporter was at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 10th Arrondissement, the network said , and reported seeing 10 people in the street who were dead or seriously injured.
According to the BBC, other attacks occurred at a nearby bar, Le Carillon, and a cafe in Rue de Charonne. One witness told French newspaper Liberation he had heard more than 100 rounds at that location.
Julien Pierce, a reporter with Europe1, was inside the Bataclan concert hall when the shootings started. In a report on the station’s website, Pierce was quoted saying several “very young” individuals, armed with kalashnikovs and not wearing masks, began “blindly shooting at the crowd.” Pierce said the shooting lasted 12 or 15 minutes.
“It was extremely violent, and there was a wave of panic,” he said. Everyone ran toward the stage.”
I’m obviously freaked out about that that we were scheduled to be there. But I’m also freaked out because a good friend of mine played there this evening and I texted him … he didn’t reply.
Aaron Harris, an L.A.-based drummer in Paris with the Deftones. The Sacramento band was scheduled to play at the Bataclan on Saturday.
Paris police: Stay in place
Translation: Following several serious incidents, the police recommend that in the next few hours, those who are at home, with family or friends or at work in the Ile-de-France area avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary; and that public buildings reinforce their surveillance of entrances and to provide shelter to those who need it.
— David Ng
Statement from the Pentagon
[Defense] Secretary [Ash] Carter was briefed late this afternoon on the attack in Paris. He is closely monitoring the situation. At this point in time we are not aware of any DoD personnel involved in this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people at this difficult moment.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook
Explosions heard from soccer stadium
At least two explosions were reported near France’s main sports stadium, the Stadium of France, where President Francois Hollande was watching a match between France and Germany.
Two loud booms can be heard on video of the game.
AP: 2 suicide attacks and a bombing
A French police official confirms two suicide attacks and one bombing near Paris stadium.
The Eagles of Death Metal is an ongoing special project and a labor of love with one of his closest friends, band member Joshua Homme told The Times just weeks ago.
A narrow escape
Aaron Harris, of Los Angeles was walking through the Square André Tollet with a group of people around 10 p.m. Sirens started. Streets were already blocked off. When he got back to his hotel, the employees rushed him inside.
Harris, a drummer who is in Paris working for the Sacramento band Deftones, arrived Thursday morning. He said noticed a heightened military presence patrolling central Paris, particularly at prominent tourist attractions.
“I’ve been to Paris 10 to 15 times in the last 10 years, and I’ve never seen military patrolling the city. These were not police; they were military.”
“In front of our hotel there’s a big square,” he said from his hotel room. “When we got here Thursday it was populated and busy like a square should be. There was some sort of demonstration Thursday morning. Since Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, the square was practically empty.”
Three members from Deftones’ touring party, including band and crew, attended the concert at Le Bataclan, but left 15 minutes before hostages were taken at the venue. They said everything had seemed normal at the show.
What the terrorists want is to make us afraid, to seize us with fear. And it is something to be afraid of. But in the face of terror, we have to be united, and we will vanquish these terrorists.
President Francois Hollande, in response to Paris attacks
Eagles of Death Metal, which hails from Palm Desert, Calif., had played Friday evening inside the theater, performing a sold-out show as part of the band’s European tour. According to a Twitter post by opening act Red Lemons, members of Eagles of Death Metal are outside of the venue and safe.
France has closed its borders, military being deployed
French President Francois Hollande says he has closed France’s borders and deployed military forces around Paris following the attacks.
“We have to assure ourselves that no one can enter in order to commit any act, whatever that may be, at the same time that these crimes that have taken place can be stopped,” Hollande said in a news conference late Friday.
Hollande said he also plans to declare a state of emergency, meaning certain areas may be closed and travel bans and other restrictions may be put in place.
The president also said that operations of French security forces are still active and that officials know “who these terrorists are.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron ‘shocked by events’
Obama: Paris attacks not just aimed at French but at ‘all of humanity’
President Obama called the attacks in Paris “an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”
“This is an attack not just on Paris, an attack not just on the people of France; this is an attack on all of humanity,” Obama said in a hastily arranged news conference in the White House press briefing room.
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