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Paris Terror Attacks: Special Coverage and Analysis

11-13-2015
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Seven more people were arrested Sunday in Belgium in connection with the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people Friday. That is in addition to three others arrested on Saturday.

More details are beginning to emerge about the investigation into one of the deadliest attacks on France in generations.

Thousands of French troops are working to protect the city and nation as investigators work to find those responsible. 

ISIS was quick to claim responsibility on Friday but the extent of their terror ring is still being discovered.

Investigators believe at least three of the seven suicide bombers were French citizens along with one of the men arrested in neighboring Belgium.
 
A Belgian official confirmed that two of the seven men wearing suicide bomb vests were French men living in Brussels along with one of the men arrested there.
 
As these details unfold, the problem of homegrown terrorism is again in the spotlight in France. The Associated Press reports it has exPorted more jihadis than any other country in Europe.

The last major terror attack in France was back in January on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher grocery store. All three of the terrorist gunmen carrying out those attacks were French citizens.
 
Meanwhile, in Belgium, officers say the detainees there will find out Sunday if they will remain behind bars.

Americans are among the injured in Friday's Paris terror attacks, considered the deadliest on France since World War II.

Helen Wilson is one of them. She was at the concert hall that was attacked and was shot in the leg. She told the Associated Press that she was from New Orleans and moved to Paris where she runs a catering company.

"The U.S. Embassy in Paris is working around the clock to assist American citizens affected by this tragedy," State Department spokesman, Mark Toner said. He would not comment if any were killed.

CBN News Senior Reporter and European correspondent Dale Hurd who contributed to this report is also blogging about it at "Hurd on the Web." Read it for more insight and analysis here.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks in an online statement in French and Arabic. Apart from the 129 who died in the attacks at French cafes, a stadium and concert hall - at least another 200 were injured, dozens critically.

A French prosecutor reports three teams of extremists carried out the multiple attacks. He told reporters that those who committed suicide bombings wore the exact same explosive vests.
 
French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack ISIS without mercy.

Hollande has declared three days of national mourning. He raised the nation's security to its highest level and called the carnage "an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help."

Texas Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz responds to the Paris terror attacks.

ISIS' statement claiming responsibility mocked France's involvement in air attacks on their bases in Syria and Iraq. They stated France's air power was "of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris."
 
Following the attack, Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. The violence spread fear through the city and exceeded the horrors of the Charlie Hebdo carnage just 10 months ago.
 
Friday night Paris police said security officers launched an assault on the concert hall, killing at least two attackers. One described "carnage" inside the building, saying the terrorist tossed explosives at the hostages.

CBN's George Thomas spoke with our terrorism analyst Erick Stakelbeck earlier in the week when international police reported breaking up an ISIS terror ring. Click here to watch their analysis for insight on the terrorists strategy in Europe and why they are attacking.

It all began early Friday, when two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France-Germany friendly football match. A police union official said there were two suicide attacks and a bombing that killed at least three people.
 
The official, Gregory Goupil of the Alliance Police Nationale, whose region includes the area of the stadium, said explosions went off simultaneously near two entrances and a McDonalds.
 
An Associated Press reporter in the stadium Friday night heard two explosions loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.
 
Originally, there was no clear picture of how many attackers were involved and if any were on the run. Jihadists on Twitter immediately praised the attack and criticized France's military operations against Islamic State extremists.

Hollande, who had to be evacuated from the stadium when the bombs went off outside, said in a televised address that the nation would stand firm and united.
 
"This is a terrible ordeal that again assails us," he said. "We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are."

Friday's attack could ensure that the next President of France is the National Front's Marine Le Pen, a right-winger who was polling strongly before the attack.

Meanwhile, world leaders are voicing their support for France.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to work closely with the French government to hunt the culprits as well as their backers overseas.
 
"This attack on freedom was aimed not just at Paris, it targeted and it hits all of us. That is why we must all respond together," Merkel said while dressed in black, her voice faltering in mourning.

 
"We, your German friends, feel very close to you. We cry with you," she said. "We will lead this fight together with you against those who did such unimaginable things to you."
 
U.S. President Barack Obama, who made no mention of Islam when he spoke to reporters in Washington about the Paris attacks, called them an "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians" and vowed to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

President Barack Obama makes a statement regarding the attacks in Paris, France, on Friday.

The attack comes as France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks. Hollande canceled a planned trip to this weekend's G-20 summit in Turkey, which was to focus in large part on growing fears of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists.
 
Emilio Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at the Carillon restaurant that was targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk, when the shooting started. He said he didn't see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner, then ran away.
 
"It sounded like fireworks," he said.
 
France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic terrorists in January on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead, including the three attackers. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.
 
One of at least two restaurants targeted Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, as is the Bataclan, among the best-known venues in eastern Paris, near the trendy Oberkampf area known for a vibrant nightlife. The California-based band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play there Friday night.
 
The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers thwarted an attempted attack by a heavily armed man.
 
France's military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past.
 
French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have travelled to Syria and returned home with skills to stage violence.

Meanwhile asylum-seekers fleeing the war and terror brought by Islamic terrorists are afraid these attacks will make it more difficult for them to European countries.

Sources: CBN News and Associated Press
 

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