One of the suicide bombers who attacked the Stade de France national stadium Friday was discovered by guards attempting to enter the venue before the attack. The attacker had a ticket to the soccer match between France and Germany, but security discovered the attacker's explosives vest during a frisking at the entrance that took place 15 minutes after kickoff.
The attacks on the French capital, which left more than 120 dead and over 350 injured, prompted a rapid response from security forces. The Belgian Minister of Justice has confirmed a "number of" arrests have been made in Brussels in relation to the Paris attacks.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, one security guard explained how the Stade de France attacker attempted to back away from the entrance after being discovered, only to detonate the explosives vest in the process. One police officer, confirming the events, said police believe the attacker was attempting to enter the stadium to detonate the explosives inside to start a stampede.
Three minutes after the detonation at the Stade de France, another attacker detonated his explosives outside the stadium. This was followed by a third attack at a nearby McDonald's. Two of the three nearby explosions were clearly heard by fans inside the stadium, and broadcast footage shared on Twitter showed the explosions could be heard on over-the-air transmissions.
President François Hollande was evacuated from his VIP box after the first blast, a guard said. "Once I saw Hollande being evacuated, I knew it wasn’t firecrackers," said the guard, who was identified only by his first name, Zouheir.
Despite the explosions, the game continued to its end. Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation, told the Wall Street Journal that the crowd wasn't told about what had occurred to prevent panic.