Are The Paris Attacks Terrorism-Related? French President Hollande Confirms Yes In National Address
UPDATE: One day after ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks, France reportedly launched airstrikes against the militant group in Syria, dropping 20 bombs in the area. Some targets were destroyed, according to reports, but not much else is known about the airstrikes.
One of the suspected suicide bombers has been identified as Ismael Omar Mostefai. Authorities also confirmed that seven of the assailants have died, and the attacks were carried out by three coordinated groups. Paris police, however, are currently hunting for an eighth attacker who may still be at large, who has been identified as 26-year-old Abdeslam Salah.
Officials have confirmed that a police raid in Belgium led to the arrests of seven individuals who may have ties to the attacks.
On Saturday, French president François Hollande has also put the blame on ISIS, calling their actions an "act of war." Said ISIS in a statement released less than 24 hours after the attacks:
France needs to know it still remains at the top of the target list of the Islamic State.
The death toll currently sits at about 130, with over 350 wounded. (One of those killed was an American woman studying abroad in France.) According to French Prosecutor François Molins, nearly 100 of those wounded are critically injured.
EARLIER: French police told press that they believe all of the attackers responsible for attacks across Paris Friday night are now dead. Reports claim that three explosions were detonated north of the city and over 100 people were killed inside the city's Bataclan stadium before police stormed the venue. As the first details rolled in, many throughout the city and the world were inevitably left wondering the same question: Are the Paris attacks terrorism-related? Following a press conference with French President Francois Hollande Friday night, it was confirmed: Hollande stated that to the best of his knowledge, the attacks are believed to be terrorist-motivated. Shortly after, the president returned to a crisis meeting with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to address the attacks further, CNN reported.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” Hollande said in an address to the nation. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.” According to French media, one of the attacks took place at a restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge, where shooters armed with a AK-47 rifles fired numerous shots at patrons, while another took place at bar Le Carillon. Attacks were also carried at at Le Bataclan, where American rock band Eagles of Death Metal was playing inside the venue at the time, according to The Standard. The AP reports that the attackers tossed explosives at the hostages while inside the venue, causing massive carnage inside the arena before authorities were able to overtake them, leaving both attackers dead.
In addition to the shootings and the hostage situation, three explosions were also reportedly detonated just north of the city, near Stade de France, the country's national stadium. As a precautionary measure, police then forced the stadium into lockdown, and President François Hollande, who was reportedly at the stadium at the time, was swiftly evacuated. A live broadcast of a soccer game taking place between France and Germany at the time captured the sound of one of the explosions that evening.
In addition to Hollande, President Obama spoke about the attacks on local broadcast channels. "Once again, we've seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," he said during his broadcast. Obama also offered condolences to the families of those who have been killed and told the public he would be in direct communication with Mr. Hollande.