A series of terrorist attacks across Paris on Friday, November 13 left the world in shock, with at least 132 dead, and hundreds injured. Conflicting reports place the number of coordinated targets between six and eight, and ISIS is claiming responsibility for the strikes. The three groups of attackers were armed with guns and explosives; some donning suicide vests.
“The attacks are really really horrible. I don’t understand why people feel the need to kill innocent people, it doesn’t make sense,” says Junior Cassie Ackemann.
The first two attacks took place outside of the Stade de France during a soccer match between France and Germany. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests, killing one person after one terrorist was confronted by security. The French President, François Hollande, was in the stadium during the explosions and was quickly evacuated while the match continued. As many spectators learned of the attacks and tried to leave the stadium, there was a third explosion by a nearby McDonalds. These first attacks were quickly followed by a series of explosions at restaurants on Rue Bichat.
Subsequent bombings at Casa Nostra pizzeria on Rue de la Fontaine au Roi and La Belle Equipe bar in Rue de Charonne were followed by a hostage standoff at a rock concert at the Bataclan in Boulevard Voltaire
The concert itself concluded with a death toll of 89 after terrorists fired into a crowd of 1,500 and several suicide bombers detonated their explosives. The U.S. band, Eagles of Death Metal, were not injured, but their merchandise manager was killed. The group Isil released a statement calling the young concert-goers, “idolators at a festival of perversity,” according to The Telegraph. The best of Eagles of Death Metal.
Many of the terrorists were young, while one carried the passport of a Syrian refugee. By Sunday seven arrests had been made, while one, Abdeslam Saleh, remains on the run.
While the world came together to mourn these brutal acts of hate, with many countries lighting up national monuments in the colors of the french flag, those in the SLV community with ties to France are hoping that these acts of hate will not spur further intolerance and Islamophobia in France.
SLVHS senior Louis Jolivalt is among those who fear that these acts will lead to policy implementation that will negatively affect migrant refugee and muslims. When asked if he thought the political tension in France could lead to a similar situation to that created by the U.S. after 9/11, Jolivalt said, “I am really afraid about that because a lot of people in France want to attack Syria now and I think that our government will make law to limit our freedom and arrest terrorist more easily, like the patriot act.” Such acts of terrorism could lead to support for anti-islamic policies. “I feel really sad and bad, but I am not angry,” says Jolivalt.
Another member of the SLV community with French ties is former SLV student Amberlee Galvin, who shared Jolivalt’s fears. “What happened was horrible, I hope this event doesn’t reflect on Muslims but on Jihadists,” says Galvin. “Unfortunately these might continue happening, but I hope it brings our countries closer and focus on stopping terrorism.”
Both Jolivalt and Galvin have friends or family in Paris, none of whom were injured in the attack.
In wake of the events, Paris has conducted over 150 counterterrorism raids and an air strike on a suspected ISIS stronghold in Syria as of Monday, November 16. ACSULB student, Nohemi Gonzalez was killed in the attack, and more than 20 U.S. states are refusing to welcome Syrian refugees.
By: Katie Maxwell