The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization claimed responsibility for the multi-site massacre that took place in Paris on Friday night, leaving 129 dead, 352 wounded and the entire nation of France in shock.
In a communique published in Arabic, French, Bosnian and Russian, along with corresponding audios, distributed via its supporters on Twitter, Da’esh called the attacks “the first of the storm.”
The statements, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group Enterprise, reported that eight suicide attackers struck multiple sites in Paris in a “blessed invasion.” They referred to the city as the “capital of prostitution and obscenity and the “carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe.” The statements were later released in English as well.
The communique went on to declare: “Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign. and dare to curse our Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, and are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys. This attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.”
The statement went on to call the attackers the “eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles” who “targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France…”
“Allah is Great,” the communique continues. “But honor, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger (Muhammad), and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not.” [From Al-Munafiqun:8]”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday night it could not yet say for sure whether any Israelis had been killed or wounded in the attacks.
“It’s a little hard to say for sure,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emanuel Nachshon said, “but we are not aware at this point of any Israeli who was hurt in the attacks in any way.”
There were a number of U.S. citizens among the injured; the State Department said Saturday night it was seeking to establish the whereabout of 70 Americans known to be in France.
“The U.S. Embassy in Paris is working around the clock to assist Americans affected by this tragedy,” deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement Saturday.
Public transportation, public institutions, schools, museums, libraries, pools and food markets remained closed over the weekend as Paris was held in lockdown. “Public cultural sites” were closed throughout the Paris region, in fact, as directed by the French Culture Ministry. These included sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and other top tourist sites, until further notice.
The summit of the Group of 20 nations which begins Sunday in Turkey is also expected to discuss the attacks, and the threat to Europe from Da’esh that looms ahead.
Hana Levi Julian