It was like any typical Friday night in Paris, tourist roaming the streets immersing themselves in sights and sounds, locals going out to dinner, concerts and the football game where France hosted Germany. However November 13 was no typical night in Paris, what was to come would be hours of terror as the world looked in horror as the terror group known as ISIS or ISIL attacked the people of France. A series of coordinated attacks were carried out in Paris killing and injuring hundreds. Our worst fears realized; terrorist hit so-called soft targets that included restaurants, a concert venue and the football arena were a match was underway at the time of the attack.
The first indication that an attacked was underway was at 9:20 pm local time when the first of two explosions occurred outside of the Stade de France during a soccer match between France and Germany. A suicide bomber set of the explosive at gate D killing four people outside the stadium. French President Francois Hollande was inside of the venue as a spectator, he was quickly evacuated from the arena whisked to safety.
A few minutes later just a few miles from the Stade de France at 9:25 gunmen arrive at the Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge restaurants wearing masks dropped off in a black vehicle. The gunmen open fire at diners killing 15 people and littering the street with more than 100 shell casings. Ten other people are reported wounded by the attacked carried out using Kalashnikov assault rifles.
A few minutes later at 9:30 back at Stade de France, a second explosion goes off near the gate H entrance.
At 9:32 masked gunmen are driven to a bar located in the 11th district called A La Bonne Biere. The gunmen exit a black vehicle and open fire. Five people are killed and eight others are left with serious injuries. The street is covered in more than a hundred shell casings from the assault.
Moments later at 9:36, attackers are driven to 92 Rue de Charonne; La Belle Equipe restaurant where they attack patrons sitting on the outside of the establishment. Another nineteen lives are extinguished by masked attackers. Once again more than a hundred shell casings are deposited on the ground following the attack.
At 9:40 pm a suicide bomber sets off an explosion at Comptoir Voltaire; a restaurant in the 11th district at the same time three masked attackers arrive at a concert hall called Bataclan. The American blues rock band Eagles of Death Metal are performing. Gunmen enter the venue and open fire on people as they entered the venue and according to reports shouting “Allah akbar,” translated as God is Great.
The gunmen are described as calm and merciless as they executed concertgoers. The gunmen take the remaining members of the audience who were not able to flee or hide hostage. The gunmen stay hold up in the venue for a few hours in standoff that ends when police are sent end to end the crisis.
At 12:20 a.m. elite police forces raid the venue, two of the gunmen kill themselves via suicide belts lined with explosives while the third gunmen is shot by police before he can detonate his device. Eighty-nine people were killed at the concert venue.
Authorities would discover the identity of some of the attackers including that at least one of the terrorist may have entered the country posing as a Syrian refugee. It is belived that at least one of the attackers has fled the country heading back to Belgium with help from two unknown accomplices. The Friday attacks come less than a year after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo shootings that left 12 people dead in January.
In a joint session of Parliament French President condemned the attacks and declared it an “Act of war.” Over the weekend French forces working in concert with the United States carried out airstrikes on the ISIS stronghold of Roqqa in northern Syria.
With France entering into direct assaults on ISIS; it may not be long before ground troops are committed to striking back at ISIS and may force the U.S. to also commit more resources and personnel to support one of our closest and oldest allies in Europe.
The world reacted to the Paris attack on social media where #PrayersforParis and #CryforParis was trending. Facebook users showed their solidarity by enabling a temporary change to their profile picture to have the French flag overlay over it.
Around the globe public attractions and buildings have been draped in the colors of the French flag. In Atlanta the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain and the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel were displaying colors of the French flag according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
On Monday a growing list of U.S. governors indicated that they would refuse or do everything in their power to prevent Syrian refugees from being sent to their state without a significant change in the vetting process. More than 26 governors have said publically that they would only allow Christian refugees to be relocated to their state for fear of a terrorist slipping through the system.
U.S. cities have already ramped up security at public attractions, government buildings and airports. The increase comes after ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks and mentioned Washington, D.C. in a threat against the United States. Airports around the nation had already beefed up security procedures following bombing of a Russia bound plane downed in Egypt. It is believed that ISIS may have been able to plant a bomb onboard the plane.