The Post has not confirmed the AP’s report, but it hints at the uncertainty that remains after bloodshed erupted across Paris and as authorities try to investigate the attacks.
The official also told the AP that intelligence authorities did not know of any threats before the attacks began in Paris.
U2 postpones Paris show
“We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight,” the band wrote in a statement. “We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans. And we hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”
AFP had cited “a source close to the investigation.” The AP is citing the prosecutor’s office.
Authorities are reporting that multiple people have been killed in attacks in Paris.
- There are reports of multiple shooting attacks in the French capital, as well as explosions outside a major Paris soccer stadium as the French national soccer team played.
- Police stormed a Paris concert hall to free hostages.
- At least 140 people are dead.
- France declared a state of emergency.
“The President reiterated the United States’ steadfast, unwavering support for the people of France, our oldest ally and friend, and reaffirmed the offer of any necessary support to the French investigation,” the White House said in a statement.
Obama had said earlier Friday that he and Hollande had already spoken that day, mentioning that they had talked before the attacks as they prepared for the upcoming Group of 20 summit in Turkey.
“We are going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people,” Obama said during his earlier remarks at the White House.
During the call later Friday evening, Obama and Hollande pledged to work “to defeat the scourge of terrorism,” the White House said.
- A spate of apparently coordinated attacks — including explosions, suicide bombings and shootings — in the French capital killed over 140 people, in at least six different locations. It’s the worst terrorist attack in Western Europe since the 2004 bombings in Madrid.
- The worst incident took place inside the Bataclan concert hall, where at least two suspected attackers burst into the crowded venue and fired indiscriminately. There were more than 1,000 people packed into the hall, attending a concert of American rock band Eagles of Death Metal, and as many as 120 people may have died in that assault alone. The attackers, according to some reports, detonated suicide vests as security forces approached, killing four police officers.
- Other sites included restaurants, a shopping center and a venue near the Stade de France, the country’s major soccer stadium that was playing host to a friendly match between the French and German national teams. Explosions were heard during the game.
- French authorities, cited by local reports, said eight attackers were confirmed dead.
- The attacks have been celebrated online by supporters of the Islamic State, though it’s not clear yet what sort of connections the assailants had to jihadist organizations.
- French President Francois Hollande declared a state of national emergency and ordered the country’s borders closed, though it wasn’t totally apparent what the latter actually meant — airports remained open and EuroStar train service was still operational.
- Hollande delivered a number of short speeches, including strongly-worded remarks at the scene of the Bataclan: “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” he said.
NYPD commissioner: 'They have borne too much'
“Tonight’s attacks in Paris are atrocities, and for the second time this year the Department sends its deepest sympathies to the citizens of the City of Light,” William J. Bratton, the police commissioner, wrote in a message to his department late Friday. “They have borne too much.”
In New York, counterterrorism officers and others would be deployed throughout the city because the NYPD “must rededicate ourselves to the mission of keeping this city and her people safe,” Bratton wrote in the message.
“It’s what we do,” Bratton said. “There is no known nexus between the attacks in Paris and New York City, but we are cops, and we are cautious.”
Police officers in cities from New York to Los Angeles have increased patrols in response to the Paris attacks. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Friday that officials did not know of any “specific or credible threats of an attack on the U.S. homeland of the type that occurred in Paris tonight.”
Candles in Montreal, silence in Boston, WTC Tricolore in New York: #StandWithParis
“U.S. citizens should heed local authorities and maintain security awareness,” the American Embassy in Paris said on its Web site. “France has declared a state of emergency which includes mobilization of security forces and closing its borders.”
My dear compatriots,
As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror.
We have, on my decision, mobilized all forces possible to neutralize the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place. I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes.
Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be banned , and there will also be searches which may be decided throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency will be proclaimed throughout the territory (of France).
The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory.
This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.
In these difficult moments, we must – and I’m thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured – show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.
Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.
We must also call on everyone to be responsible.
What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilize its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.
French citizens, we have not completed the operations. There are still some that are extremely difficult. It’s at this moment that the security forces are staging an assault, especially in a place in Paris.
I ask you to keep all your trust in what we can do with the security forces to protect our nation from terrorist acts.
Long live the Republic and long live France.
Bataclan: at least 100 dead, seven people in a critical condition, four others injured
Rue Charonne: 19 dead, 13 people in a critical condition, 10 others injured
Rue Bichat: 14 dead, 10 in a critical condition, 10 others injured
Avenue de la Republique: Four dead, 11 in a critical condition, 10 others injured
Stade de France: four dead, 11 in a critical condition, 39 others injured
Rue Beaumarchais: three people in a critical condition, four others injuries
Still, police in cities from New York to Los Angeles were deployed to key locations, including some with French ties.
Read more here.
We didn’t look at our phones throughout dinner at a small Alsatian restaurant in the 9th arrondissement. So it wasn’t until the dessert menu came that we saw a series of frantic texts from friends and family that had been sent 30 minutes earlier.
“We heard there was a shooting in Paris.”
“Guys, get in touch with us, please.”
There was no sign in the restaurant that anyone was aware of what was happening only one arrondissement away. But everyone seemed to find out at once, hunching over their phones to check in with loved ones.
There were simultaneous requests for “L’addition, s’il vous plaît.” A server settled checks briskly. A French woman sitting next to us leaned over and said, “You should go back to your hotel now. They might declare ‘un couvre-feu.'” A curfew. We walked back to our hotel, avoiding major boulevards, where we could hear sirens in the distance. Everyone we saw was doing the same, ashen-faced and nervously scanning the street for signs of trouble.
In bars, Parisians crowded around TVs showing France 24 — or smoked cigarettes outdoors and discussed “les attentats” in hushed tones. When we got back to our hotel, the friendly desk clerk had locked the door, letting my husband and I in only once he was certain it was us. Our Saturday train to London was cancelled — the borders had been closed. Facebook prompted me to announce my status to loved ones in a “safety check.”
It’s not much of a story, because we were lucky: We ate in a restaurant and had an anxious walk home, and for that, we’re grateful. More than 100 others weren’t as fortunate. It’s 3:30 a.m., and we’re still in this hotel room, watching.
The Early Lead blog has collected some of the tweets; you can find that post here.
“This evening’s horrific and barbaric attacks in Paris were more than an attack on the nation or people of France – they were an assault on our common human dignity. As NATO allies, as leaders of the counter-ISIL coalition, as nations working shoulder to shoulder from West Africa to the Indian Ocean, the United States and France will only strengthen our resolve. As the president said tonight, in this moment of tragedy the United States stands with the people of France and its vibrant, multi-cultural democracy. For more than 200 years the United States and France have stood together in friendship. We have stood for the common good and security of all nations. We have never stood closer than we do now. Vive la France.”