How Many ISIS Attackers Were There? Here's What We Know About Who Attacked Paris
Yesterday's tragic Paris attacks involved three teams of attackers for whom ISIS has now claimed responsibility. The attacks, which killed at least 129 people, injured 352, and left many in critical condition, were carefully timed and coordinated, suggesting that they involved many more organizers than just the seven or eight attackers themselves.
First, a pair of attackers tried to suicide bomb the Stade de France in the middle of a France-Germany soccer game. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, one of those attackers was thwarted by stadium security who noticed his explosive vest. The attacker detonated his vest in front of security, and an accomplice detonated their vest immediately outside the stadium (both probably prematurely and not according to plan). Reports currently conflict as to whether there was a third attacker at the stadium. Only one non-attacker was killed in this part of the attacks.
Next, three gunmen entered the club Le Bataclan. They killed 80 attendees of an Eagles of Death Metal show there, taking some hostages, and ultimately committing suicide. Other attackers targeted restaurants in the 10th and 12th arrondissements of Paris.
ISIS said it had dispatched eight attackers and that figure is confirmed by The Observer, but The Atlantic currently accounts for seven in those three teams (stadium, club, and restaurants). In either case, an additional attacker may have been thwarted by German police while traveling towards Paris with guns.
We still don't know much about the individual attackers, though a disturbing statement from a government official in Athens, Greece suggests that one of them may have been legitimately holding (or otherwise carrying) a Syrian passport which was cleared to travel through Greece on a refugee basis. Whether or not one of the attackers was in fact a refugee will have huge political implications regarding the effects of these Paris attacks on refugee policies in Europe and America.