My first thought when the news broke was of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Then I read this and thought of Mumbai.
BREAKING: witnesses describe panic in central #paris as it appears gunmen are on a shooting spree in various areas of the French capital.
— Tom Burges Watson (@Tburgeswatson) November 13, 2015
More from the BBC:
At least one man opened fire with an automatic gun at the Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district.
Liberation newspaper says four people have been killed. It also reports shootings elsewhere. There is no official confirmation.
An explosion is also reported to have targeted a bar near Stade de France, where France were hosting Germany.
A BBC journalist at the scene says he can see 10 people on the road either dead or seriously injured.
Fox News is citing a report that there were two explosions, not one — and that they came from the stadium where a soccer match between France and Germany was happening. Something very big is up. Stand by.
Update: NBC says there was an explosion at a bar near the stadium.
Update: Coincidence or not? Ed sends along this story from the Guardian noting that the German soccer team was evacuated from their hotel in France this morning after a bomb threat.
Update: The early death toll:
The Telegraph has a nightmarish update:
Gregory Goupil of the Police Union Alliance has told the LCI News channel that the two explosions near the Stade de France were suicide attacks.
LCI also reporting that hostages have been taken at the Bataclan concert venue near the Place de la Republique.
Update: The EU’s refugee policy will change after this, whether it turns out to be jihadis or not.
Update: Paris police are telling French media that hostages have indeed been taken at a city concert hall, which reminds me of Beslan. A lot of police forces on more than one continent are scrambling right now in case the coordination of the attack isn’t limited to Paris.
Jim Sciutto at CNN says there are three separate attacks known right now. The shootings involved AK-47s.
Update: Sounds like one of the explosions by the stadium was caught on tape:
Some crazy stuff going down in Paris. Explosion just ouside Stade de France https://t.co/43BgTE0V39
— Terje (@ArsenalTerje) November 13, 2015
A witness who’s supposedly inside the concert hall says the gunmen shouted “Allah Akbar.” The latest death toll is 26.
Update: The AP says 35 dead now and around 100 hostages taken at the concert hall. Josh Rogin of Bloomberg is reminding people on Twitter that Obama claimed that ISIS was contained literally this morning.
The death toll in the 2005 London bombings, which I think are still remembered as the seminal post-9/11 European terror attack, was 52.
Update: Here’s an interesting question:
Question: Is Paris retaliation for Jihadi John?
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) November 13, 2015
If it was, that means these degenerates were in place, supplied and trained, and fully prepared to go on a rampage at a moment’s notice upon being given the word. That makes a terrifying situation even more terrifying.
Update: 60 dead now, according to one French media outlet. Per the Telegraph, there’s a report about 30 hostages having been freed — but there’s also a report that there may be hostages “at several locations.”
Update: Whether it’s apocryphal or not remains to be seen, but there are reports swirling on Twitter that gunfire has now been heard near the Louvre and at a shopping mall. How many terrorists are still on the loose?
— Julia Macfarlane 🐅 (@juliamacfarlane) November 13, 2015
Update: The BBC guesstimates that six separate gunmen are involved. If, as some reports have claimed, the explosions were all suicide attacks, the total cell is even bigger. As I recall, the cell that killed scores of people in Mumbai was composed of 10 men. French intelligence is going to face heavy scrutiny after this over how they managed to miss so many different suspects.
Update: Gonna be a lot of this in Europe’s future:
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 13, 2015
Update: Wait, six gunmen total or six gunmen just at the concert hall with the hostages? How big is this cell?
CNN reporting 6 to 8 attackers at the Bataclan Theater
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 13, 2015
Update: Reports are streaming now at 6:05 ET that there’s shooting inside the hall and the AP is reporting that French police are assaulting “a site.” That makes sense in light of the news above about hostages being executed. They couldn’t wait anymore.
Update: Check the map of Paris that the NYT has posted and you’ll see that the concert hall is very close to the site of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January. It’s about five blocks away.
Update: It’ll be miraculous if anyone makes it out alive: Reportedly there have been no fewer than five explosions recently at the concert hall. Are those flash-bang grenades going off, or are the gunmen wired and have begun detonating themselves as French police enter the building?
Update: Very much a Mumbai-like attack now:
BREAKING: Paris attacks took place across 7 locations, security source says – AFP
— BNO News (@BNONews) November 13, 2015
Update: Surprising and unsurprising news from Fox. The surprise: A terrorist was somehow taken alive at the concert hall. Not so surprising: He supposedly told police he’s with ISIS. Whether that’s literally true, i.e. trained and equipped by ISIS, or “spiritually” true remains to be seen.
Update: Anyone seen a map of Paris with all seven attack sites plotted? The closest I’ve come is one with five:
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 13, 2015
I’m trying to deduce from that how many separate mini-cells there might be. Seems like the attack at the stadium was one distinct mini-cell given how far it is from the other sites. (Which makes sense, since those attackers were suicide bombers.) Harder to tell among the other sites. It could be that one mini-cell has hit multiple locations. They’re close enough together that maybe they could have made it by car or even on foot before being intercepted by cops.
Shep Smith: Man in French custody told police he's Syrian, he came with 2 others, recruited by ISIS, and that this is an ISIS mission WOW
— Matt Vespa (@mVespa1) November 13, 2015
Did our Syrian friend happen to arrive in France courtesy of the EU’s new open-door policy for Middle Eastern migrants? Because if he did, rest assured that that policy is going bye-bye.
Update: Dear God. Fox News is citing a report of 100 people dead inside the concert hall alone. Whether most of them were killed by execution, bombing, or crossfire between the jihadis and cops remains to be seen. If that’s true, though, then it seems a cinch that the total death toll will pass the Mumbai attacks.
Update: Why, here’s an interesting report.
Intelligence sources say French border closed out of concern #ISIL may have infiltrated migrants flooding Europe. Recent intel warned of it.
— JJ Green (@JJGreenWTOP) November 14, 2015
Sky News is estimating 140 dead now in all, which seems conservative given the reports from the concert hall.
Update: Fox just flashed an alert from the AFP at 8:08 ET that four terrorists have been killed. The BBC estimated six gunmen earlier. How many are still out there?
The updated death toll, via Sky News, is 158.
Update: Hollande is vowing to wage “pitiless” war in response to this, which I assume means a few extra airstrikes on ISIS in Syria on top of what the U.S. and Russia are already doing. No reason to think this will change anything appreciably.
Update: Here’s an updated map. Seven attacks:
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) November 14, 2015
Update: Another mention of Syria by one of the jihadis:
Yasmin, inside the Bataclan, told BFM television: “I saw two guys. The biggest one said: ‘What are you doing in Syria? You’re going to pay now.’
“Then he opened fire.
“I saw bodies falling all around me. I was shot in the foot. It was carnage. I’ve never seen so many dead people all around,” she said, sobbing.
Update: I owe a correction for what I said earlier in the thread. The London bombings didn’t have the highest death toll from a post-9/11 European terror attack; the Madrid bombings in 2004 were much higher, with 191 killed. This attack is closing in on that.
Update: I was right about what was causing those explosions reported earlier in the concert hall. Three of the four terrorists were wired with suicide belts and detonated. Tonight is, I believe, the first time France has experienced a suicide attack.
Update: With the death toll already over 150, a French paper reports that no fewer than 55 more are in critical condition.
Update: The Mumbai attacks lasted days:
BMFTV: French officials say gunmen are still at large in Paris attacks. Five have been "neutralized." https://t.co/uR4EHLX1PZ
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) November 14, 2015
There were six attacks excluding the round of suicide bombs near the soccer stadium. It does seem very hard to believe that just five people carried out all six. Gotta be more out there.
Update: Ace notes a French news source claiming that seven terrorists are dead:
7 terrorists found dead, 3 at stadium of france, 3 at Bataclan and 1 a Boulevard Voltaire https://t.co/rs6Ak1S8ca
— Ursus, Director of Weather and Banana Programming (@AceofSpadesHQ) November 14, 2015
Again, three of those died in a coordinated suicide-bombing attack near the stadium, far away from the other attacks. At least one jihadi was also captured. Meaning that something like five terrorists right now are accounted for with respect to six separate attacks. How many more are at large?