French President Francois Hollande has blamed the Islamic State group for the terror attacks in Paris on Friday, which have left 127 people dead. The French leader called the actions an "act of war."
Hollande, addressing his nation in the wake of a coordinated series of attacks across Paris, said the atrocities were carefully planned from outside France but with coordination inside the country. Hollande has also declared three days of mourning while a state of emergency in the French capital continues and severe restrictions are in place on the country's borders.
“I pay homage to the country’s defenders who fought the terrorists yesterday,” he said. “Everyone has given their utmost and will be putting in their best efforts in the day to come.”
ISIS has also reportedly claimed credit for the attacks separately in a statement it released in Arabic and French. Another statement claimed to be from ISIS reads: "Our brothers who carried out these miracles in Gaul, the day of 29th and 30th Muharram."
The dates mentioned are related to the Islamic calendar and correspond to Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, respectively. The statement is being credited to the official media wing of ISIS, known as the Al-Hayat Media Center, which warns: "Today we bring you your death, and tomorrow we will do the same."
However, there are some who dispute the veracity of the statement's origins, including expert Charlie Winter who says that in ISIS' daily bulletin there has been no mention of the events in Paris.
— Charlie Winter (@charliewinter) November 14, 2015
Adding to the confusion is an undated video which has been released by ISIS, The Guardian reported. The video shows a militant saying France “will not live in peace as long as bombing continues.” There is no indication when the video was recorded, but it shows a bearded militant calling on French Muslims to carry out attacks on France, with Reuters reporting the militant saying: “As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear traveling to the market.”
Full details of Fridays attacks are still emerging but attacks took place in at least six separate locations across Paris, including at the Stade De France where President Hollande was attending a soccer match between Germany and the national side. The latest official death toll shows 127 dead with 180 people injured, 80 of whom at critical.
Eight terrorists died during the attacks, seven of them at their own hand, with French police shooting one. The Paris attacks mark the first time since the 7/7 attacks on London in 2004 that suicide bombers have attacked a Western European city. The shootings began around 9 p.m. local time, with a shootout at a crowded Cambodian noodle shop in the 10th Arrondissement, a trendy neighborhood popular with young people and tourists.
At the Bataclan Concert Hall, where a Southern California rock band, the Eagles of Death Metal, were taking the stage as part of a European tour, attackers walked into the venue and began shooting indiscriminately into the crowd. The incident descended into a hostage situation which was ended when police stormed the venue, with up to 100 reported dead at that location alone.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on Friday night, sympathizers of ISIS, the jihadist group that has established a self-proclaimed caliphate across great swaths of Iraq and Syria, were declaring victory, celebrating Nov. 14 as a day that should stand alongside Sept. 11 as a milestone in the ruthless killing of Western enemies.