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November 2015 Paris attacks

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November 2015 Paris attacks
Part of terrorism in France, Islamic terrorism in Europe, the spillover of the Syrian Civil War, and the France-Islamic State conflict
On the left, and from top to bottom:

recollection at La Belle Équipe, intervention forces in Saint-Denis, police vehicles in front of the Bataclan, meditation place of the Republic. On the right, and from top to bottom: tricolor illumination of the Eiffel Tower,

Paris motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur.
Locations of the attacks—stars denote suicide bombings
LocationParis and Saint-Denis, France
Date21:16, 13 November 2015 (2015-11-13T21:16)  –
00:58, 14 November 2015 (2015-11-14T00:58)  (CET)
  1. Near Stade de France[C 1]
  2. Rues Bichat and Alibert (Le Petit Cambodge; Le Carillon)[C 2]
  3. Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi (Café Bonne Bière; La Casa Nostra)[C 3]
  4. The Bataclan theatre[C 4]
  5. Rue de Charonne (La Belle Équipe)[C 5]
  6. Boulevard Voltaire (Comptoir Voltaire)[C 6]
Attack type
Mass shooting, suicide bombing, hostage taking
WeaponsZastava M70 assault rifles[1][2] TATP suicide belts
Deaths137 (130 victims,[3] 7 perpetrators[4])
413[5] (80–99 critically)[6][7]
PerpetratorsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant
No. of participants
MotiveIslamic extremism,[8][9] retaliation against French airstrikes on ISIL[10][11]

On 13–14 November 2015, a mass shooting and suicide bombing happened in Paris and Stade de France at Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, France at the Bataclan concert venue, and at other sites. 130 people were killed.[12] Because of this, French President François Hollande announced a national state of emergency. In his speech of 14 November, Hollande said that 128 people were killed and another 128 were gravely injured.

In total, over 350 people were injured during the attacks, about 100 of them are gravely injured. One of the attacks was at the Paris stadium, one of the others was at a theatre. The others six were at well known places in the city. At least seven people were involved in the attacks: seven were suicide bombers, one was shot by police.

The next day, November 14, ISIS claimed responsibility of the attacks.[13] The leader of the attacks was Belgian terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud. He was killed in a police raid on 18 November.


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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 2015, and had restored border checks the week before the attacks.

The Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015 occurred in the 11th arrondissement of the city, where the Bataclan theatre is situated. Other attacks in France also took place, such as the stabbing of 3 military men in Nice who were guarding a Jewish community center, the Saint-Quentin Fallavier attack and the 2015 Thalys train attack.

Islamic State and their branches have claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks within the weeks leading up to the attacks. On 12 November 2015, twin suicide bombings took place in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 43 people. On 31 October 2015, Metrojet Flight 9268, carrying mostly Russian passengers crashed in the Sinai in Egypt, killing 224 people. Islamic State's Sinai branch claimed responsibility.

Also, during the day of the attacks, ISIL's lead executioner Jihadi John was reported to have been killed by a U.S. drone strike[14] and had lost the Battle of Sinjar to Kurdish forces.[15]

Flowers at one of the sites of the attack, the day after it happened
Police guarding the site of the theatre, the day after the attacks

Seven distinct attacks took place,[16] comprising six shootings and three explosions.[17][18] The explosions occurred near the Stade de France, while shootings were reported in the vicinity of Rue Alibert, Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi, Rue de Charonne, the Bataclan theatre in Boulevard Voltaire, Avenue de la République, and the Boulevard Beaumarchais.[19]

It is likely that three teams carried out the coordinated series of attacks.


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The Islamic State officially claimed responsibility for the attacks on the morning of 14 November, praising their "eight brothers" led by Abdelhamid Abaaoud on the death of "at least 200 'crusaders'" and claiming that "this was only the beginning of the storm."[20][21]

The people who committed the crime were:

  • Four attacked the Bataclan theatre wearing black clothing and using AK-47 assault rifles.[22] Three killed themselves with their suicide vests during the police raid on the theatre. The fourth was killed by police gunfire just before his vest detonated.[22]
  • Three suicide bombers detonated their vests near the Stade de France. A Syrian passport has been found on one of the suicide bombers according to the French Police. The authenticity of the passport was put into question and many analysts pointed out that false Syrian passports can be easily obtained.[23] Minister of Citizen Protection in Greece Nikos Toskas confirmed that one of the Syrian passport-holders had been registered as a refugee on Leros in October.[24] It was also reported that an Egyptian passport was found close to the body of another bomber.[22][25]
  • The eighth attacker detonated his vest on the Boulevard Voltaire near the Bataclan theatre.[22]

The exact number of attackers is currently unclear; certain media speak of seven, others of eight attackers. Police think there might be 3-5 attackers who survived, and are on the run. About ten people were taken in police custody in Brussels, as they might have connections to the attacks. The ringleader of the attack, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a police raid in France on 18 November.


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President François Hollande issued a statement asking the French people to remain strong in the face of such incidents.[26][27] 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.[28][29] 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.[30]

On 14 November, President Hollande announced three national days of mourning.[31] Later that day, some of the names of the dead were released:


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Pope Francis has condemned the attacks. He said that violence would not solve problems, and that the attacks could not be justified from a religious or humanitarian point of view.[36] Representatives of Islam in France have also condemned the attacks, as did those of the Jewish community. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani cancelled his trip to France, and called the attacks a crime against humanity.

There are reports of isolated acts against Muslim institutions: Red crosses were found on a mosque in Créteil, near Paris, the day after the attacks.[37] A man of North African descent was attacked during a series of demonstrations of a right-wing group against illegal immigration.[38]


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  1. "Following the Path of the Paris Terror Weapons". Spiegel.de. 24 March 2016. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  2. "Paris attacks: More than 100 killed in gunfire and blasts, French media say". CNN. 14 November 2015. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  3. "Paris attacks death toll rises to 130". RTE News. 20 November 2015. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  4. Claire Phipps (15 November 2015). "Paris attacker named as Ismaïl Omar Mostefai as investigation continues – live updates". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  5. "Bataclan survivor describes moment Isis gunman tried to kill her". 12 November 2016. Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  6. "Search goes on for missing". BBC News. 16 November 2015. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  7. "Paris attacks: Everything we know on Wednesday evening". The Telegraph. 18 November 2015. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  8. "ISIS claims responsibility of Paris attacks". CNN. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  9. "L'organisation État islamique revendique les attentats de Paris" (in French). France 24. 14 November 2015. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  10. Elgot, Jessica; Phipps, Claire; Bucks, Jonathan (14 November 2015). "Paris attacks: Islamic State says killings were response to Syria strikes". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015. The group says the killings were in response to airstrikes against its militants in Syria, adding France would remain a "key target".
  11. Dalton, Matthew; Varela, Thomas; Landauro, Inti (14 November 2015). "Paris Attacks Were an 'Act of War' by Islamic State, French President François Hollande Says". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on a social media account, but didn't provide specific information that would allow the claim to be verified. It said that the attacks were retaliation for French airstrikes against the group in Syria and Iraq.
  12. Rawlinson, Kevin (14 November 2015). "Fatal shootings and explosion reported in Paris – live". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  13. "ISIS claims responsibility of Paris attacks". CNN. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  14. "'Jihadi John': high degree of certainty US airstrike killed Mohammed Emwazi, sources say". The Guardian. 13 November 2015.
  15. Jason Hanna and Ed Payne, CNN (13 November 2015). "Sinjar has been liberated from ISIS, Kurds say". CNN. Retrieved 13 November 2015. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  16. "EN DIRECT. Fusillades à Paris : assaut terminé au Bataclan". Le Point (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  17. Ing, Nancy; Fieldstadt, Elisha (13 November 2015). "Dozens Dead, Hostages Held in Multiple Paris Attacks". NBC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  18. Shapiro, Emily (13 November 2015). "Several Dead After Explosions and Shootings in Paris". ABC News. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  19. Goldstein, Sasha (13 November 2015). "At least 26 dead after explosion, shooting reported in Paris". NY Daily News. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  20. Attentats à Paris : Le groupe Etat islamique revendique les attaques de vendredi à Paris, on 20 Minutes Accessed 14 November 2015 (in French)
  21. L'Etat islamique revendique les attentats de vendredi à Paris, on liberation.fr Accessed 14 November 2015 (in French)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 "Paris Concert Gunman Identified as French National With Islamist Ties". Haaretz. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  23. Buchanan, Rose Troup (14 November 2015). "Paris terror attacks: Syrian passport found on body of suicide bomber at Stade de France". The Independent. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015. A Syrian passport has been found on the body of one of the suicide bombers at the Stade de France, French police have told Reuters. [...] Witnesses described one attacker as "white", "European type" according to BFMtv.
  24. Vantighem, Vincent. "Attentats à Paris: Passeport syrien, plaques belges… La police commence à relever des indices". 20 minutes (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  25. "Paris concert gunman was French, known to have Islamist ties: source". Reuters. 14 November 2015. Archived from the original on 16 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  26. "President Hollande: France will overcome the terrorists". CNN. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  27. Sharma, Swati (13 November 2015). "'It is horror': French President Hollande's remarks after Paris attacks". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  28. "'It's a horror': Hollande orders French borders closed after Paris terror attack leaves at least 149 dead". National Post. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  29. "Attaques terroristes à Paris : une centaine de morts, l'état d'urgence décrété". Le Figaro. La Mairie de Paris appelle les habitants de la capitale à rester chez eux
  30. "Hollande cancels trip to Turkey for G20 after attacks: presidency". Yahoo! News. Agence France-Presse. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  31. Attentats : Hollande décrète "trois jours de deuil national", on europe1.fr (accessed on 14 November 2015)
  32. Paris Attack at Bataclan Claims Life of Mercury Records Executive Thomas Ayad
  33. Guillaume B. Decherf a été tué hier au Bataclan (in French)
  34. Attentats à Paris: Un artiste bordelais parmi les tués du Bataclan (in French)
  35. Attentats à Paris: Matthieu, un Isérois de 39 ans parmi les victimes du Bataclan (in French)
  36. "Vatican : message du pape François au cardinal de Paris à la suite des attentats du 13 novembre" (in French).
  37. "LaMosquée de Créteil taguée de croix rouge de sang" (in French). Le Parisien.
  38. ""A Pontivy une manifestation degénère" (in French). Libération.

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