The Latest Paris Updates From The Fourth Day After The Attacks Prove France Won't Back Down
On Friday, Paris endured its worst attack since World War II, and its deadliest terrorist assault in history. Three teams of terrorists coordinated a series of attacks throughout central Paris, opening fire at victims using Kalashnikov rifles and setting off explosions using suicide bomb vests. At least 129 people were killed and nearly 100 more were seriously injured. The following day, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. After what were surely two of the tensest days in Paris's history, authorities are now continuing their search for all suspects as world leaders refocus their efforts on destroying ISIS. The initial terror may have subsided, but the past day in Paris has seen numerous developments.
The terrorists targeted six locations across central Paris, including the restaurants Le Petit Cambodge and La Belle Equipe and the Bataclan concert hall, where at least 80 people were slaughtered. Even before ISIS issued its statement taking responsibility for the attacks, French President Francois Hollande had already made the connection, calling their assault "an act of war." At a special meeting of France's Defense Council, Hollande said:
This is an act of war. An act committed by a terrorist army, Daesh, against France, our values, who we are, a free country that speaks to the entire planet.
Hollande also officially called for three days of national mourning, during which members of the public have been paying their respects to those who lost their lives at the scenes of the attacks.
As France and the world continue to mourn for the victims, there have been several major developments in response to the attacks. Here's everything that's happened in the last 24 hours.
A False Alarm At Place De La République
There was a moment of panic and chaos at Place de la République on Sunday, when hundreds of people gathered for a vigil started fleeing after hearing what sounded like gunshots. Luckily, the noises turned out to be firecrackers, but the incident underscores the lingering unease pervading the city.
Manhunt For The Eighth Suspect
In its statement claiming responsibility for the attack, ISIS mentioned "eight brothers, wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles." So far, seven of the terrorists have been confirmed dead. One suspect, Salah Abdeslam, is still at large. On Sunday, authorities released Abdeslam's photo and issued an international warrant for his arrest.
Several Attackers Are Identified
By Monday, several reports revealed the names of some of the attackers. The Guardian reports that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was the "mastermind" behind the attacks. Salah Abdeslam is currently wanted by French police. And among the suspects who died: Omar Ismail Mostefai, Ibrahim Abdeslam, Bilal Hadfi, Ahmad Al Mohammad, and Samy Amimour.
Owners Of The Bataclan Venue Issue A Statement
For the first time since the attacks, the Bataclan's owners released a statement, saying, "No words can express the level of sadness we feel."
A New Video Is Released Warning Of An Attack On U.S. Soil
On Monday, a new video purportedly made by ISIS was posted to a website used by the group. In it, a militant warns of a similar attack on Washington, D.C. and on any countries involved in the airstrike campaign in Syria.
We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France's and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.
Massive Police Raid In Belgium Produces No New Arrests
On Monday morning, Belgian special forces raided the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where some of the terrorists involved are from, in an effort to hunt down Abdeslam. However, no new suspects were arrested as a result of the raid.
President Obama Vows To Continue Fighting ISIS While Helping Refugees
At the G20 Summit in Turkey, President Obama reiterated his strategy for fighting ISIS, whom he called "the face of evil." Rather than sending U.S. troops on the ground, he said he would focus on training Syrian and Iraqi forces who have joined in the fight against ISIS, and continue to take out leaders of the organization. On a humanitarian level, Obama vowed to do more for Syrian refugees and urged other countries to do the same.
President Hollande Makes Some Big Announcements
Speaking to a rare joint session of Parliament on Monday, President Hollande announced several major changes, including extending France's state of emergency from 14 days to three months, invoking a provision of the EU that sends backup when a member-nation is under attack, increasing France's airstrike campaign in Syria, and consulting with the U.S. and Russia to fight ISIS. "France is at war," he told the houses.
The Eiffel Tower Is Back
Since Friday, the Eiffel Tower has been closed and dark, a haunting image in the aftermath of the attacks. On Monday, however, the tower reopened in red, white, and blue — the colors of the French flag — looking more like a symbol of the French spirit than ever.