Around 9:20 p.m. Central Europe Time, a series of seemingly coordinated attacks broke out simultaneously across the city of Paris. By the time authorities were in control of the situation, at least 132 people were dead, with hundreds more injured. Here’s everything we know so far about the attacks, the alleged attackers, and the aftermath of the deadliest night in recent European history.
The attacks centered around at least six spots including several popular restaurants, a live music hall, and a football stadium. Officials tell the New York Times the assaults appeared to carried out by three coordinated teams traveling in black cars who were armed with assault rifles and suicide vests.
The night of horror reportedly began around 9:20 p.m., when a man detonated a suicide vest outside the Stade de France, where French President François Hollande was watching the German and French football teams play.
According to reports, the bomber had a ticket for the event but blew himself up after he was stopped by security.
At 9:53, a third bomb went off—this time reportedly near a McDonalds.
At the same time, at approximately 9:25 p.m., gunmen began shooting at establishments across the city. The first shots were fired in the 10th Arrondissement, where armed men inside a black vehicle killed at least 15 diners inside and around two restaurants: Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon.
“It took us a while to register what had happened,” one woman who was dining around the corner and heard the shots ring out tells the New York Times. “I looked at my iPhone and I had many worried calls. This is one of the most densely populated areas in Paris. There is no place that is more full on a Friday night. This is a place where young people hang out. It was a hit at the soul of Paris.”
Minutes later—at approximately 9:32 p.m.—the same black car drove by the Cafe Bonne Bière in the 11th Arrondissement. The gunmen inside the car reportedly killed at least five people before speeding off.
By 9:40, the car had hit at least two more establishments, including La Belle Équipe, where two gunman reportedly exited the car and sprayed the outdoor dining area with bullets, killing at least 19 people.
But the most deadly attack of all was centered around the Bataclan concert hall—also located in the 11th Arrondissement—where more than 1,000 people were watching an American band called the Eagles of Death Metal perform.
“At first we said, ‘Oh, it’s a joke, the band is playing a joke,’ ” French celebrity Ginnie Watson tells the Times. “But then the shots kept going and kept going and kept going. Then we saw people were crying, and the members of the band ran offstage. They didn’t come back, and then I saw people screaming and that’s when I said, ‘O.K., we have to get out of here.’”
Police finally regained control of the arena shortly after midnight, around 12:20 a.m. By that time, at least 89 people were dead inside.
The Alleged Attackers
Officials have identified the mastermind of the attacks as a Belgian jihadist named Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who’s been tied to several thwarted attacks including the Paris high-speed train attack, an attack against a French church, and a plot to shoot up French police. He is still at large.
Other attackers were not so lucky: French officials say one of the dead stadium attackers was Ahmad Al Mohammad, a 25-year-old man with a Syrian passport who may have entered Europe through Greece along with a flood of refugees in October.
And a man shot dead at the Bataclan concert hall was reportedly identified as 29-year-old Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, believed to be from a town outside Paris called Courcouronnes. “He had a criminal record and was known to be involved in extremist Islamic ideology,” prosecutor François Molins tells the Times.
Turkish officials say they warned French authorities in 2014 and 2015 that Mostefaï posted a risk but did not hear back until after the attacks Friday.
Still, authorities believe there are more attackers still at large.
According to reports, French police launched more than 168 raids over the weekend, arresting at least 28 people and placing another 104 under house arrest. The Times reports that cops recovered “19 weapons, including 19 handguns, eight long guns and four heavy weapons, as well as computer hardware, mobile phones and narcotics” during the raids. From the Times:
In one home in the Rhône department, [France’s Interior Minister] Mr. Cazeneuve said, the police found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, three automatic pistols, ammunition and bulletproof vests. Officers obtained a warrant to search the home of the parents of one suspect, where they found several automatic pistols, ammunition, police armbands, military clothing and a rocket launcher.
Over the border in Belgium, a full-scale manhunt unfolded in the small town of Molenbeek, a Muslim-dominated community where a 26-year-old suspect named Salah Abdeslam is believed to be hiding. Authorities believe he was involved in the attacks Friday, which his brother Ibrahim reportedly died executing. A third Abdeslam brother was reportedly detained Saturday and later released.
At least seven men were arrested there during the series of raids this weekend, though some were later released. Belgian officials are also reportedly trying to determine if a man arrested last week with weapons and a GPS programmed for Paris was connected to the attacks.
Several foreigners, including people from Belgium, Britain, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United States, were killed in the attacks.
An American student from California State University in Long Beach, Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, died in the Paris attacks. She was spending a semester at the Strate School of Design in Paris.
Valentin Ribet, a 26-year-old lawyer, was killed at the Bataclan. Guillaume B. Decherf, 43, a music critic at a French magazine and a father of two, was killed as well. Three employees from Universal Music France also died, as did Nick Alexander, a British citizen who sold merchandise for the band, and Aurélie De Peretti, 33.
And reports are still rolling in.
One victim, Ludo Boumbas, reportedly died throwing himself in front of a gunman outside La Belle Equipe. “Ludo threw himself forward to protect a girl and took the bullet,” a friend tells the Daily News.
Another survivor says he was saved by his prosthetic leg.
“The man did it again, twice or three times again,” she continued. “What happened next? The man stopped beside him, he fired shots just 30 centimeters [12 inches] from his head.”
France immediately declared a national emergency—the first since 2005—and military troops are currently patrolling the capital. Calling the attacks “an act of war,” the country launched full-scale airstrikes against ISIS operatives in Raqqa on Sunday—a dramatic escalation of attacks on Syrian militants and oil operations that began in September.
“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh [ISIS], against France,” President François Hollande said Saturday. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”
Currently, the country is in its third and final day of national mourning and public institutions like “schools, museums, libraries, pools, food markets” are still reportedly closed. The city’s main airport, Charles de Gaulle, is still open but has apparently been hobbled with “significant delays.”