Violence erupted in a number of locations in Paris on Friday evening, November 13, 2015, taking the lives of an estimated 120 people and wounding many more. The attacks occurred in a music concert hall, where an American rock band was featured, and a number of restaurants in a popular area of Paris. At least one of the bombs exploded near a soccer stadium where a game between France and Germany was attended by French President Hollande.
The attacks, carried out by suicide bombers and terrorists with AK-47s, were described as "well-coordinated" and the result was a horrific event that shocked all of Europe and others around the world. As one commentator said, "The terrorists wanted to have a 9/11 event in Europe — and now they've had it."
Exacerbating the situation is the flow of displaced people fleeing the Middle East to European countries, including France, which already has the largest Muslim population in Europe. Some feel the violence that occurred in Paris Friday night may be just the beginning of terrorist attacks as European countries strive to deal with the problems involved in accommodating a huge number of refugees.
This report is being written shortly after the attacks occurred and much more information, including a better estimate of the number of those killed and wounded, will be available on November 14. Stay tuned.
November 14, 2015
French President Francois Hollande declared three days of national mourning as the death toll in last night's terrorist attacks rose to 127, with 300 others hospitalized — 80 in critical condition. Eight of the terrorists involved in the attacks are dead, seven by detonating suicide bombs.
The terrorist organization ISIS claimed responsibility for the carnage in Paris, but the claim could not be independently verified. President Hollande called the attacks "An act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish."
Stricken by shock and grief, Paris remained in a state of lockdown with public institutions such as schools, museums, libraries, pools and food markets closed. Last night's attacks were the deadliest event to occur in France since the massacre of French journalists at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January.
Much remains unknown at this time, including the identities of the terrorists involved in the attacks and whether any accomplices remain at large. Intelligence agencies in France and elsewhere remain on the alert.
Beau Weisman, Editor