On Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, eight men undertook multiple attacks in Paris — at a death metal music concert, 2 restaurants, a soccer stadium, and on streets. We are told this morning that 127 were killed, 300 were wounded, 80 of whom are in critical condition. All 8 attackers are now dead: 7 died in suicide bombings; the 8th was shot by police. Officials say accomplices may still be at large. (NYT)
French President François Hollande immediately called the attacks “an act of war” and identified ISIS or the Islamic State as the party responsible. He said: “It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France,” using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”
The New York Times reports that this morning, the Islamic State claims responsibility for the attacks, calling the attacks “the first of the storm” and mocking France as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity”.
The admission of responsibility is in the form of a communiqué published in Arabic, English and French on the Islamic State’s encrypted account on Telegram, a messaging platform, and then distributed via its supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group that tracks jihadist propaganda. The communiqué says:
“Eight brothers, wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France, including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, François Hollande, was present. Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State.”
The statement was released on the same Telegram channel that was used to claim responsibility for the crash of a Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula two weeks ago, which killed 224 people.
Analysts said the nature of the attacks — indiscriminate killings — was more in keeping with actions of the Islamic State than with those of Al Qaeda. The timing and extent of the celebration expressed online by IS supporters added weight to the claim. Al Qaeda’s attacks display more carefully defined targeting.
Military troops are patrolling Paris; France is in a nationwide state of emergency, its borders closed.
But this is what NYT reporters Adam Nossiter, Aurelien Breeden and Nicola Clark have to say:
The attacks, and the possibility that the Islamic State was to blame, promised to further traumatize France and other European countries already fearful of violent jihadists radicalized by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere. It could also lend weight to the xenophobic arguments of right-wing populists like Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front party.
So, self-preservation to the NYT is now xenophobia.
Meanwhile, writing for Activist Post, Brandon Turbeville is questioning what we are told about the attacks:
For many, claims that the attackers belong to ISIS is a deal breaker. For these individuals, ISIS is a shadowy terrorist organization that supports itself and has created a caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq that can scarcely be defeated (except when the Russians bomb it). However, the facts do not support such a shallow understanding of the ISIS terrorist organization. ISIS was entirely created, funded and directed by the United States, Britain, France and other NATO countries. Its actions have been coordinated by the Anglo-American Intelligence apparatus for geopolitical purposes all across the world both at home and abroad. For this reason, the declaration that ISIS committed a terrorist attack in Paris is by no means a get-out-of-jail-free card for the Western Intelligence apparatus. Instead, it is the trademark of their handiwork. Please see these articles for more information on the nature of ISIS: here, here, here and here.