Is Al Qaeda Behind The Paris Attacks? The Tragic Incidents Prompt Questions As To Who Is Responsible
Update: French police confirmed a total of six attacks in Paris, including two suicide attacks and one bombing near the Stade de France, as well as attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and a restaurant. French news outlets reported that police launched an assault on the Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen were holding 100 hostages. According to The Guardian, eight attackers are dead, several of whom died after detonating suicide belts. Authorities have reported that the number of fatalities has reached at least 120. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks; President Hollande agrees it was the terror group.
Earlier: The world is in a state of shock as we learn more and more about the attacks on Friday, Nov. 13 in Paris. The devastating terrorist attacks have gutted the French city, leaving more than 60 dead and many injured. The attacks included two to three explosions that went off near Stade de Park football stadium, a shooting at a Cambodian restaurant, and at least 100 hostages that were taken captive at Bataclan concert hall. In the wake of the horrific incidents, some are left wondering who is to blame for the attacks, and if the culprit might be Al Qaeda.
French police officers believe all of the events to be linked and coordinated as many attacks under the same organization — whoever it may be. We don't know now who is responsible, and it's hard to say if Al Qaeda had anything to do with these tragic incidents.
In January, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a rampage that killed 12 people at France's Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. According to an Al Qaeda leader who responded to the attack via video, the rampage was many years in the making, claiming an American born cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, had the inception for the plan. A statement provided to the Associated Press from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula revealed: “the leadership of AQAP directed the operations and they have chosen their target carefully.” The reason for the attack? "Revenge for the honor” of the Prophet Muhammad, the portrayal of whom is not allowed by Islamic tradition. The satirical magazine is known for its cartoons poking fun at many religions, including Islam.
Because the recency of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and the fact that Al Qaeda admitted responsibility for the incident, it's no wonder there may be speculation as to who is behind Nov. 13's Paris attacks, with a hesitant finger pointed at Al Qaeda as a possible offender.
Here is a map of confirmed areas under attack: