New York, NY (Top40 Charts) On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of mass shootings and bombings occured in and around Paris, France. Beginning at 21:16 CET, three separate explosions and six mass shootings occurred, including bombings near the Stade de France in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis. The deadliest attack was at the Bataclan theatre where attackers took hostages and engaged in a standoff with police until it was ended at 00:58 CET into the early hours of 14 November 2015. Eight attackers were killed and authorities are searching for any accomplices that remain at large.
It was reported that at least 120 people were killed—with 87 of those deaths occurring at the Bataclan theatre. In addition, more than 200 people were injured during the attacks, including 80 people who were listed as being in serious condition.
In response, French President François Hollande announced a state of emergency and, subsequently, placed temporary controls on the borders of France in a televised statement at 23:58 CET. It was the first nation-wide state of emergency since the end of the Second World War. Prior to the attack, France had been on high alert since the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks in Paris that killed seventeen people.
France had been on high alert for terrorist threats since the Charlie Hebdo shooting in early January 2015 and other related incidents during the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks. France had also increased security in anticipation of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December, and had restored border checks the week before the attacks.
Attacks Seven individual attacks took place comprising six shootings and three explosions. The explosions occurred near the Stade de France, while shootings were reported around Rue Alibert, Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi, Rue de Charonne, the Bataclan theatre in Boulevard Voltaire, Avenue de la République, and Boulevard Beaumarchais.
The first attacks occurred on the Rue Bichat and Rue Alibert, near the Canal Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. Attackers shot at people outside Le Carillon, a café-bar, at approximately 21:20 CET. They then crossed Rue Bichat and attacked Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia), a restaurant, leaving between four and eleven people dead. According to French police, 11 people were killed at the restaurant. The assailants reportedly fled in one or two vehicles after the shootings. One of the vehicles was known to have had a Belgian number plate. Doctors from nearby Hôpital Saint-Louis were in Le Carillon when the attacks occurred and supplied emergency assistance to the wounded after the attack.
La Casa Nostra shooting
Shots were fired at the terrace of La Casa Nostra, an Italian restaurant, in Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi south of Rue Bichat, by a man wielding a machine gun. The Paris prosecutor reported that five people were killed here. An eyewitness reported people were killed by a gunman firing "bursts of three or four shots."
Stade de France explosions
Three explosions occurred near the Stade de France in the suburb of Saint-Denis, and resulted in at least five deaths. At least 10 people were injured or killed in an explosion at a bar near the stadium at approximately 21:30 CET, about twenty minutes after the kick-off in an international friendly football match between France and Germany which the President of France François Hollande was attending. He was safely evacuated from the scene and met with the French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve to coordinate a response to the emergency. Two of the explosions were heard on the live televised broadcast of the match. Following the game, fans were brought onto the pitch to await evacuation as police monitored all exits from the venue. Security sources confirmed that all three of the explosions were suicide bombings.
Rue de Charonne shootings
Two attackers fired for several minutes at the terrace of La Belle Équipe, a restaurant on the rue de Charonne in the 11th arrondissement of Paris before returning to their car and driving away. at approximately 21:50 CET. Police confirmed that 18 people were killed by gunmen who opened fire on the restaurant's outdoor terraces.
Le Bataclan theatre siege and mass shooting
A mass shooting and the taking of hostages occurred at the Bataclan theatre on Boulevard Voltaire in the 11th arrondissement where the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal were playing to an audience of around 1,500. About an hour into the concert, four black-clad men with AK-47 assault rifles entered the hall. Witnesses heard shouts of "Allahu akbar" just before the gunmen calmly and methodically opened fire into the crowd. A witness said that he saw armed men enter the Bataclan, and two or three men not wearing masks fired indiscriminately on the crowd. The attack lasted about 20 minutes, with witnesses reporting that the attackers also threw grenades into the crowd. A radio reporter, Julien Pearce, who had attended the concert, described the attackers as calm and determined, telling CNN they had reloaded three or four times.
At around 22:00, the men started rounding up hostages, as police massed outside the concert hall. Between 60 and 100 hostages were taken. The band's members escaped without injury. A witness who escaped the attack told a journalist that the attackers mentioned Syria and that there were five or six attackers. One witness in the Bataclan stated that a gunman yelled, "This is because of all the harm done by Hollande to Muslims all over the world." There were further attacks reported on police and first responders who arrived at the scene after initial reports of shooting inside the theatre. One of the attackers at the Bataclan had explosives, according to a police officer at the scene.
At about 00:15 CET, the police commenced with an assault on the theatre after reports that the attackers had started killing the hostages. The siege ended at 00:58 CET. Initial police reports indicated that an estimated 100 people were killed at the theatre; however, this was later lowered to 87. Four attackers were killed, three of whom died by detonating their suicide belts. The fourth was hit by police gunfire, and his belt blew up when he fell. The entire neighborhood around the area was closed off after the attacks.
Another attacker detonated his explosive belt on the Boulevard Voltaire near the Bataclan theatre.
Paris Public Prosecutor François Molins confirmed that all eight attackers had been killed, though authorities continued to search for possible accomplices. The four who attacked the Bataclan theatre wore black clothing and used AK-47 assault rifles. Three of those attackers killed themselves with their explosive belts during the police raid on the theatre, while the fourth was killed by police gunfire just before his belt detonated. Three other attackers detonated their belts in the suicide bombings near the Stade de France, while the eighth attacker detonated his belt on the Boulevard Voltaire near the Bataclan theatre.
Analysis of tactics and responsibility
Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said that the attacks demonstrated "a level of sophistication we really haven't seen in an urban area since 2008 in the attack in Mumbai, India," and "This will be a game changer for how the West looks at this threat."
Although social media accounts associated with ISIS celebrated the attack, there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Early speculation focused on ISIS and al-Qaeda.
At least 120 people were killed and 200 people injured during the attacks. Sweden's Foreign Ministry reported that at least one Swedish national was killed and another injured. Australia's Foreign MinisterJulie Bishop advised the media that one Australian was confirmed injured.
President François Hollande issued a statement that read the French people must remain strong in the face of such incidents. Hollande also visited the Bataclan theatre and vowed to "mercilessly" fight against terrorism. Hollande also chaired an emergency meeting of the French Cabinet that night, and organized his national security council to meet the next morning. The authorities urged the residents of Paris to stay indoors for their own safety. Hollande also cancelled his trip to the 2015 G-20 Antalya summit because of the attacks, instead sending Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Finance Minister Michel Sapin as his representatives.
In response to the attacks, France was put under a nation-wide state of emergency for the first time since the end of the Second World War, borders were temporarily closed, and 1,500 soldiers were called in to help the police maintain order in Paris. The plan blanc (Île de France) and plan rouge (global), two French contingency plans for times of emergency, were immediately activated. 1,500 troops were deployed on the streets of Paris. Paris declared its first curfew since World War II.
Flights to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport were mostly unaffected. American Airlines delayed flights to Paris until further notice. Many Paris Métro stations in the 10th and 11th arrondissements were shut down because of the attacks. Uber also suspended car hails in Paris after the attacks. All public schools and universities in Paris were set to remain closed the next day, Saturday 14 November.
Belgium tightened security along its border with France and increased security checks for people arriving from France.
Several cities in the United States took security precautions, particularly at sites where large crowds were expected, sports events, concerts, the French embassy, and other French government sites. Singapore also raised its national security alert level, stepping up security precautions as well as border checks across the city-state.
Social media and popular reactions
In the hours after the attack, some Parisians used social media, in particular the Twitter hashtag #PorteOuverte (French for "#OpenDoor"), to offer overnight shelter to strangers stranded by the attacks. The hashtag would subsequently trend worldwide.
French foreign exchange students gathered in Union Square in New York City where they lit candles and sang La Marseillaise.
On the night of 13 November, multiple landmark structures in Canada and the United States were lit in the colors of the French flag, including the spire of One World Trade Center in New York and the CN Tower in Toronto.
French domestic politics
Both Hollande's governing Socialist Party and Marine Le Pen's National Front suspended their election campaigns for the upcoming French regional elections. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy, the leader of the Republican party, the main centre-right opposition party, supported the national state of emergency and increased border security measures.
Multiple heads of state, heads of government, the Holy See, and the United Nations offered messages of condolence and solidarity in the wake of the attacks. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called them a crime against humanity.
German Interior MinisterThomas de Maizière offered the assistance of German special forces. United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch offered assistance to French law enforcement agencies.
Shortly after the attacks, intelligence staff in multiple countries began to review electronic surveillance recorded before the attacks. The New York Times reported that "A senior American security official said there was no immediate indication that there had been suspicious chatter or other warning signs before the attack."