14 November 2015

#PRAYFORPARIS & Live updates: Attacks in Paris II & The Bataclan theater, the epicenter of the terror attacks in Paris 13NOV15

LIVE updates of the Paris terrorist attacks from the +Washington Post continued, the first part of the reports on this tragedy is here

Live updates: Attacks in Paris

Police forces, firefighters and rescue workers secure the area near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. (Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

  • Mark Berman
  • ·
  • November 13, 11:56 PM
The Associated Press reported late Friday that 70 U.S. citizens known to be in France have not been accounted for, though no Americans have been reported killed so far, according to an unnamed U.S. official who was briefed by the Justice Department.
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

  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 11:45 PM
U2 has postponed a Saturday night concert in Paris that was supposed to have been filmed for an HBO special, according to Rolling Stone.
“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.”
The Associated Press has confirmed AFP’s earlier report.
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.
  • Mark Berman
  • ·
  • 11:25 PM
President Obama spoke on the phone Friday evening with French President François Hollande to offer condolences and pledge U.S. support to France.
“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.
  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·
  • 11:19 PM
  • 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.
Read more at WorldViews.

NYPD commissioner: 'They have borne too much'

  • Mark Berman
  • ·
  • 11:15 PM
The head of the New York City Police Department said that despite no known link between his city and the Paris attack, NYPD officers would continue closely monitoring what happened out of needed caution.
“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

  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 11:11 PM
People light candles at a vigil outside the French consulate in Montreal. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered “all of Canada’s support” to France in the wake of “deeply worrying” terrorist attacks in Paris. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)
The house lights are shut off and scoreboard is dark as the Boston Celtics pause for a moment of silence for the Paris attack victims prior to an NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks in Boston. (Charles Krupa/AP)
One World Trade Center is lit in the blue, white and red colors of the French flag Friday. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 10:59 PM
In a security message, the State Department said just before 10:30 in Washington that U.S. citizens and personnel in Paris should continue to shelter in place.
Travel - State Dept @TravelGov
U.S. Embassy Paris security messages can be found here:  Advice is still to shelter in place.

“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.”
  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 10:53 PM
  • Victoria M. Walker
  • ·
  • 10:40 PM
“The reports from Paris are harrowing. Praying for the city and families of the victims,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.
  • Swati Sharma
  • ·
  • 10:34 PM
French president Francois Hollande makes a statement at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Christelle Alix/EPA)
Declaring a state of emergency and closing the nation’s borders, French President Francois Hollande delivered this speech Friday in the midst of attacks that devastated Paris.
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.

  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 10:32 PM
“May the souls of the departed rest in peace and rise in glory,” said Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Over 200 injured in Paris attacks, 80 seriously: security source
  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·
  • 10:14 PM
This account, from the BBC, is a redaction of the toll reported by Le Parisien.
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
  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 10:09 PM
Authorities in major cities across the United States said they were increasing police patrols in response to the Paris attacks, though Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday that “we know of no specific or credible threats of an attack on the U.S. homeland of the type that occurred in Paris tonight.”
Still, police in cities from New York to Los Angeles were deployed to key locations, including some with French ties.
Read more here.

  • Andrew Katz
  • ·
  • 10:08 PM
Post reporter Maura Judkis was in Paris on Friday evening, having dinner an arrondissement away from some of the attacks. Here, she briefly recounts how she and others learned of the attacks:
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.
“Everyone ok?”
“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.
  • Sarah Larimer
  • ·
  • 9:50 PM
Twitter was filled with messages of support after Friday’s attacks in Paris, including some from athletes like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Seraphin.
LeBron James @KingJames
As I get ready for my game I can't help but to think of the tragedy in Paris! My God what's up with people. Prayers sent to all the familes!

The Early Lead blog has collected some of the tweets; you can find that post here.
  • Andrew Katz
  • ·
  • 9:43 PM
The office of U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter released a statement attributed to him late Friday evening:
“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.”
  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • 9:41 PM
Play Video0:21
French exchange students are singing together .

French exchange students sing 'La Marseillaise' in NY

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French exchange students huddled closely in circle at NY's Union Square, some holding lit candles. They are singing.
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  • Sarah Larimer
  • ·
  • 9:27 PM
  • Dès demain, fermeture de tous les équipements de la Ville: écoles, musées, bibliothèques, gymnases, piscines, marchés alimentaires

Roughly translated, this tweet is saying that city amenities (like libraries and museums) are closed on Saturday.
  • J. Freedom du Lac
  • ·
  • November 13, 9:18 PM
One World Trade Center lit up to pay tribute to attack victims.
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The One World Trade Center spire is lit up in blue, white and red as a gesture of solidarity.
“Today’s horrific attacks in Paris have moved us all, and the more we learn, the more our hearts ache,” New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. “These were cowardly acts of evil by people who have inexplicably chosen to believe in radical hatred above all else. We reject that kind of extremism — choosing instead the bonds of liberty, equality and fraternity that bring us together.
One World Trade Center
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“Today, and in the days ahead, New York will light One World Trade Center in blue, white and red as we stand in solemn solidarity with the people of France, just as they have done for us in our own times of tragedy. We join them in mourning those who were killed, and in praying for those who were injured or lost loved ones. And we continue to stand side by side with them in our commitment to a free and peaceful world.”

San Francisco stands with Paris.
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San Francisco’s City Hall is also lit up in blue, white and red tonight.

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And the Omni Hotel in Dallas has transformed itself into the French flag.
The Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas lights itself in the colors of the French flag to honor victims in Paris
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  • Andrew Katz
  • ·
  • November 13, 8:59 PM
French graphic designer Jean Jullien posted a simple drawing to social media on Friday evening as the terrorist attacks played out across Paris. It was quickly and widely shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, even drawing the attention of Instagram’s own account.
The caption? “Peace for Paris”
  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·
  • November 13, 8:54 PM
The French president surveyed the grisly scene at the Bataclan concert hall and made this statement, according to reports:
 “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.”

The Bataclan theater, the epicenter of the terror attacks in Paris

Automatic gunfire and blasts rung out from the area of a Paris music hall after dozens of people have been killed after explosions and shootings in the city. (AP)
Reports indicated that at least 100 people were dead inside the Bataclan theater in Paris following a police raid aimed at rescuing hostages trapped by suspected Islamist militants inside the venue.The concert hall was crammed with more than 1,000 people who had come to see a sold-out show by the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. Gunmen apparently burst into the crowd and started firing indiscriminately. At least two attackers were killed. According to reports, they detonated suicide vests as police approached, killing four police officers.
The incident was one in a spate of seemingly coordinated attacks around the city.
The Bataclan, located in the 11th arrondissement in eastern Paris, is a famous venue near an area known for its nightlife. It dates back to the 19th century, when it used to stage vaudeville "spectacles," and played host over the years to luminaries like  Edith Piaf, Nick Cave and Lou Reed. It went through a series of incarnations as a cinema and is now a multi-purpose concert hall. The theater's colorful facade was done in the exotic "chinoiserie" popular at the time of its construction, and once boasted an actual pagoda rooftop.
[At least 140 people slain in Paris terror attacks]
According to the Guardian, the Bataclan's horse-shoe shaped ground floor can fit seating or be made for standing room.
“It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere," one survivor told the Guardian after being freed from the Bataclan. "Everyone scrabbled to the ground. I was on the ground with a man on top of me and another one beside me up against a wall. We just stayed still like that. At first we kept quiet. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, it seemed like an eternity."
French President Francois Hollande called the carnage in the theater and elsewhere an assault "of unprecedented proportions." He then went to the Bataclan to survey the scene.
According to reports, Hollande declared there that France was "going to lead a war," presumably against Islamist militants. He said his country's response would be "ruthless."
Relatives of members in Eagles of Death Metal who spoke to The Washington Post said the band managed to escape.

French President Francois Hollande arriving at theatre after
Mary Lou Dorio, the mother of Julian Dorio, the band's drummer, told The Post that her son was safe. She said the band members managed to flee the concert hall when the attack began, but that the fate of several crew members remains unknown.
“It was awful,” she said. Her son initially went to a local police station, where he was able to call his wife. He had left his phone on stage.
Dorio's wife, Emily, said she spoke to her husband only briefly.
“We are just holding our breath and saying prayers for everyone,” she told The Post. “He called to say that he loved me and he was safe. Everyone on stage was able to get off.”
Adam Goldman contributed to this report from Washington.
Read our full coverage: 
At least 140 people slain in Paris terror attacks
Live blog: The Paris terror attacks
Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor at TIME, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.