On November 13th 2015, a string of terrorist attacks (mass jottings, suicide bombings, hostage-taking) rocked the city of Paris and the northern suburb of Saint-Denis. The deadliest of those attacks being at the Bataclan theatre where 89 people were killed. Here are 10 facts about the Paris attack that you need to know.
10. Anonymous has released a chilling video declaring war on ISIS: ‘We will hunt you down’
Hacktivist group Anonymous has declared war on ISIS in response to the attacks in Paris on Friday night via YouTube. The group aims to use its knowledge to “unite humanity”.
The quotes from the video have been edited from French to English:
“Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.”
“You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.”
“We will launch the biggest operation ever against you.”
Anonymous has made similar threats in the past in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last January. The group has begun to publish a list of Twitter accounts that are suspected of spreading pro-ISIS propaganda.(source)
9. Paris terrorists may have used PlayStation 4 to communicate with each other.
Belgian Federal Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon has gone on record to say that ISIS agents are using the PS4 to communicate because it’s notorious for being difficult to monitor, even more so than WhatsApp.
It’s not known whether or not the Paris attackers have used the PS4 network to communicate, leaked documents by Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA and the CIA have been known to create accounts on games like World of Warcraft to spy on and infiltrate terrorist meet-ups.(source)
8. A Twitter bot “predicted” the Paris terrorist attack 2 days prior to the event.
In an odd coincidence a Twitter auto-poster posted a tweet “predicting” the terrorist attacks in Paris. This post read:
BREAKING: Death toll from Paris terror attack rises to at least 120 with 270 others injured
The post received thousands of tweets and retweets from concerned people, but fortunately there is a likely explanation:
The bot runs a random process (Markov chain) that tells the bot what words should be followed by other kinds of words. Bots like Horse_ebooks are common in the ebook niche and the software is readily available to the public for free.
The @PZBooks account obtains its collection of written texts from the PZFeed Twitter account and it’s more than likely rifting on a tweet from 2014 which read:
AFP: Death toll from Nigerian mosque attack rises to at least 120 with 270 others injured http://tinyurl.com/og6lodu
7. ISIS killed 40 people in Beirut, Lebanon a day before the Paris attacks and the event has failed to capture the same amount of attention.
200 people were injured when 2 suicide bombers on a motorcycles detonated themselves within 150 meters (490 feet) of each other in the span of 5 minutes, killing 40. It was the worst bombing since the end of the the civil war in 1990.
ISIS claimed the attack but the media brushed it under the rug as just another bombing, unlike the events in Paris that received global sympathy. Dr. Elie Fares, a Lebanese doctor reacted on his blog:
“When my people died, they did not send the world into mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”
6. The attacks were the deadliest in France since the Second World War.
The toll in France was over 120 people. 8 of the attackers were dead with all but 1 of them committing suicide by explosion, the latter by armed security. A state of emergency was announced and the borders were closed.
The thick of the massacre took place at the Bataclan theatre but two explosions were also reported outside the Stade de France stadium during a football game. Gregory Goupil, a police union official of the Alliance Police National said there were 2 suicide attacks and a bombing that killed at least 3 people.
Dozens were also killed in a crowded restaurant in the 10th arrondissement as well as several other establishments that night, according to law enforcement officials.(source)
5. A Bataclan theatre survivor posted a terrifying video that shows the start of the attacks.
A video posted on Instagram by Sebastien Snow shows the exact moment that the ISIS gunmen began to mow down the Eagles of Death Metal fans. The drummer ducks down instinctually and the lead singer stands there stunned looking off to what can only be assumed as a horrific display of carnage.
The post on the video reads: “The last notes before gunfire, panic and horror.”(source)
4. A brave British young man saved his girlfriend’s life from Isis gunmen by shielding her for hours as they occupied the Bataclan theatre.
Michael O’ Connor was sure of his own death during the shooting at the Bataclan theatre:
“They ordered everyone to lie down before shooting at random defenceless victims with their automatic weapons, once they emptied their magazines they re-loaded and fired again.”
Michael told his French girlfriend Sara Badel Craye that he loved her, preparing for what he believed was his inevitable death. She responded by declaring, “we will not die in here”.
“There were two young people who came from the back of the arena. They started to open fire with what looked like AK 47s. I grabbed my girlfriend and pulled her down to protect her. We tried to make the exit, but there was a crush and you could not get out.”
Then the attackers opened fire on the crowd while people attempted running for for the exit before they finished reloading their guns. He went on to say:
“There were people climbing all over me and I thought that if they fired again we would get hit so I pulled my girlfriend under me and lay on top of her. Many people were wounded all around us, but there were also people who were obviously dead. I thought I was going to die, I could not see out properly but they were firing from the balcony above us so I guess I thought ‘they are going to shoot us’ so I told my girlfriend I loved her. What else can you do in that situation? I expected to die, and I waited.”
It was described as a “slaughterhouse”. People played dead and tried to stay silent even if they were severely hurt to avoid being shot. The two lied there for 1 hour and 15 minutes until police stormed the venue. He concluded that:
“It was such a relief. I have never felt so happy in my entire life. I was ecstatic to see the police. They could have still killed us even then. My main worry then was if they set off a bomb. It looked like an abattoir…the blood was a centimetre deep in places I was wading through blood and climbing over dead bodies to get out. It was just carnage everywhere. My girlfriend was with me I made sure we stayed together we ran out as quickly as we could. When I got outside it really hit me what I had seen and experienced, walking past the people who didn’t make it, it just brought it all home.
The people who attacked us were not Muslims, they were not even human beings. Don’t let this tragedy divide us, that’s exactly what these animals want.”(source)