by Samantha V '18

Terrorist Attacks in Paris: Is Anyone Safe?


On Friday, November 13, 2015, Paris, France was attacked in three separate areas, resulting in the death of 129 individuals. A series of three bombs exploded from around 9:20 P.M. to 9:55 P.M. outside the Stade de France, during a soccer match between France and Germany. The stadium was filled with thousands of people, including the president of France, Francois Hollande. He was evacuated immediately after the explosions occurred.

Meanwhile at the Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge, restaurants in the 10th arrondissement, two gunmen opened fire, killing a total of fifteen individuals. Everyone in the area was left speechless and confused, for they didn’t understand what was happening at the time. Some thought that the gunshots were firecrackers, but once they saw the men, everyone got down and did their best to protect themselves. People hid behind tables that were knocked over, hoping that the gunmen wouldn’t see them. In the 11th arrondissement, two other restaurants, La Bonne Bière and La Belle Equipe, where each attacked by an additional gunman. A total of nineteen individuals were killed.

It seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, but sadly, it did. At a cafe, Comptoir Voltaire, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb, but injured only one person. At the same time, three armed terrorists wearing suicide vests held people hostage at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan. When French police raided the venue, one of the terrorists was killed and the remaining two terrorists committed suicide through the use of bombs on their vests. The terrorists killed a total of 89 individuals at the venue. Later on that night, at around 11:55 P.M., President Hollande declared a state of emergency and closed all of France’s borders. He wanted to ensure that no new threats could get inside and that the terrorists who were already inside couldn’t get out. Because of this, a mandatory curfew was also enacted. This came as a shock to many because the last time a curfew was enacted was in 1944, during World War II. The next day, the Islamic State, or ISIS, claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. The whole world was left shaken, unsure of whether or not they were safe in their own country.

After it was announced that the mastermind of the terrorist attacks in Paris may have been Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian citizen, both French and Belgian officers went on a manhunt to find him and all the other suspects who were involved. On November 16, seven individuals who were suspected of helping Abaaoud in planning the attacks were found and arrested. Five of the seven suspects were identified. On November 18, Saint-Denis was raided by the police in search of several suspects who were involved. After seven hours, two suspects were killed and seven suspects were arrested. One of the two suspects who were killed committed suicide through the use of a suicide vest.

Through the span of less than a week, the Islamic State was able to not only terrorize and frighten France, but also every other country in the world. On November 16, ISIS threatened America stating that they would hit the center of the United States, Washington, D.C. Even after President Obama assured everyone that there was nothing to be afraid of, there is still one question that refuses to leave every person’s mind: Are we safe?


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