The Islamic State, or ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the wave of terrorist attacks at six locations across Paris Friday evening. French officials said a Syrian passport was found on one the attackers outside the Stade de France. French President, François Hollande declared an state of emergency on Friday night and in an unprecedented move closed the country’s borders and enacted an curfew. The U.S. State Department confirmed some Americans are among the injured in the Paris attacks.
In an online statement distributed by Islamic State supporters on Saturday, ISIS said eight militants wearing explosive belts and armed with machine guns attacked the selected locations. France’s Interior Ministry said late Friday night that 153 people were killed in the attacks, but Paris police have lowered the number of deaths to 128. Most of the fatalities occurred at the Bataclan concert venue where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was performing. Dozens were killed in shootings at Le Cambodge restaurant and Le Carillon bar in the 10th Arrondissement, and Les Halles shopping center. Other attacks were reported near Rue Faidherbe, Boulevard Beaumarchais, and Rue Albert. The Louvre art gallery and Le Carillon restaurant were also targeted. In an attack at the Stade de France, suicide bombers detonated in the national stadium, where Germany and France were playing soccer. French authorities said Friday’s attacks are the deadliest atrocity in France’s history. In 1961 a train bombing killed 28 people.
In January, 2015, an attack by al-Qaeda in Yemen or AQAP on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris left a dozen people dead, including three terrorists. In a simultaneous attack, four hostages were killed and 15 survived a standoff between a third gunman and police at a Paris kosher grocery store. The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on the grocery store. Following the terrorist attacks on Paris in January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued an alert to law enforcement agencies across the United States warning about new, sophisticated tactics employed by al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Worldwide, stadiums, theaters and shopping malls and other “soft targets” where people, sometimes in the thousands congregate for shopping, entertainment and dining are attractive targets for terrorist organizations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reportedly disrupted several al-Qaeda plots to attack soft targets in cities across America, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.