On Nov 13, 2015 a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, France. The attacks involved suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafes, restaurants and a music venue in the city. Over 130 people were killed, 89 of which were at the Bataclan Theater. There were 368 injuries, 90 of which were serious.
ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) claimed responsibility for the attacks and said they were planned in Syria, organized in Belgium and that Paris was always the target. Paris responded by launching the largest airstrike of Operation Chammal on Al-Raqqah.
Intelligence agencies in Iraq, Israel, and Turkey all warned France about the increased risk of attacks in the months leading up, but authorities shrugged off the warnings and did not take extensive measures to help prevent the attacks. However, there was increased border and city security due to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. This may have helped authorities arrive on the scene quicker and save more lives, but the attacks still devastated the city.
Nine out of 11 attackers are dead. Of these dead, Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the suspected ringleader. Abaaoud was killed several days after the attacks during a police raid. Salah Abdeslam, another one of the main orchestrators behind the attacks is from Brussels and is still missing, but police are reported to have good leads as to where he may be.
These attacks hit close to home for many Reynolds students.
“When I heard about these attacks I was really startled. I thought it was some sort of Internet hoax at first but it wasn’t. It really made me think ‘What if this happened in America?’” sophomore Timmy Erickson said.
Throughout the weekend, the media bombarded us with images from the attacks, mourners on the streets of Paris and announcers speaking about how the terrorists were on the run and interviews from authorities to show promising leads.
“I thought, here goes another 9/11,” librarian Linda Moody said. “How many more of these attacks are we going to allow to happen before something changes?”
Since the attacks, people from all over the world have commented on what happened, including Republican forerunner Donald Trump.
“I’ll tell you what. You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry — it would’ve been a much, much different situation,” Trump said.
In the presidential race not only Trump, but all of the candidates, have debated about what could have been done to prevent these attacks. Also, people have begun to question whether America would be susceptible to an attack like this.
United States President Barack Obama responded in a way that summarizes how many people feel about the attack.
“Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” Obama said. “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”