Paris Under Siege

Three teams of attackers carried out an armed assault on Paris on Friday the 13th, officials have said.

“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France,” President François Hollande told the nation from the Élysée Palace, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”

The death toll stands at 129, with 352 others wounded, 99 of those in critical state.

There has now been a base timeline of events structured, which is as follows.

The Paris prosecutor, François Molins, said the attackers were all armed with assault rifles and suicide vests, and beginning at 9:20pm Friday, they detonated one suicide bomb outside the gates of the soccer stadium on the northern outskirts of Paris. The assault was put to an end at 12:20am on Saturday, when armed authorities stormed into a concert hall, the Bataclan. One attacker there was killed; two others detonated suicide vests.

Inside the hall, 89 people, who has been listening to a rock band, had been shot to death.

It has been a troubling weekend for those around the globe. Along with attacks in Lebanon, and ISIS claiming responsibility for the bombings, it really begs the question: what is being done to prevent this happening again?

President Obama is ‘loath’ to send more troops to Iraq and Syria, senior White House officials have said, and in New York, security has been heightened in an all-too-familiar fear of attacks.

Since Friday, Mr. Hollande has said troops will patrol the streets of Paris and many services and schools have been closed. He also issued a statement, in which he said that France would be ‘merciless’ and ‘unforgiving with the barbarians from Daesh’ adding that they would act within the law, but with ‘all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.’

While we mourn those lost in Paris, it should be said that the face of these attacks is not one that represents religion, or specifically Islam. It represents a very small minority of extremist idealists. And while they may preach religion, it’s the terrorist height of hypocrisy. They are no different to the Klu Klux Klan or – if we are to look closer – Nazis.

Hollande has retaliated with bombings on specific targets in Syria.

Our thoughts here at b**p are with those who lost family, friends, and loved ones over the last few days.