Amid reports that as many as 60 people were killed and 100 others taken captive during attacks across Paris on Friday night, no group immediately came forward to claim responsibility. However, the Islamic State group made serious threats against Paris in March and July this year, claiming that its members would “fill the streets of Paris with dead bodies.”
"On the other hand, we -- with Allah's help -- want Paris, before Rome and Islamic Iberia and after we blow up the White House, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower before Paris, and Rome," Abu Mohammad al-Adnan, a spokesman for the Islamic State group -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- warned in March.
Simultaneous explosions rocked France’s capital at various locations Friday, including suicide bombings outside a bar near the Stade de France soccer stadium in the northern area of Saint-Denis. As many as 100 hostages were being held in the Bataclan concert hall, according to Agence France-Presse.
— RT (@RT_com) November 13, 2015
Police and other emergency services were at the attack sites, one of which was close to where the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack happened in January. Paris' Deputy Mayor Bruno Julliard said Friday’s attacks were a horrific reminder of the Hebdo massacre, in which 12 people were killed and 11 injured after two Islamic gunmen targeted the publication.
"It's a heavy recollection of what happened in January," Julliard said. "Now we are struck again. This is harder. I am shaken."
France has become a hotspot in recent months for attacks related to Islamic extremism, in part because of its open-border policy that has attracted a number of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. There are 1,573 French nationals or residents in France "listed as being implicated in terrorist networks," government estimates say. Of these, 442 were believed to be fighting with ISIS in Syria, where 97 have died, according to a Daily Mail report from July.