By Walt Leung
On Nov. 13, a series of attacks claimed by ISIS was coordinated across Paris, with 482 to 488 casualties reported.
Social media followed the November Paris attacks closely, with Facebook releasing a feature that allowed people to “check in” and confirm their safety. On Twitter, people across the world used “#prayfortheworld” to show their support for the French. On Instagram, Jean Julien’s “Peace for Paris” went viral after being shared on Instagram’s official account.
The attacks were carried about by three different teams. In the suburbs of Saint-Denis, three suicide bombers detonated their explosives near the national sports stadium at 9:20, 9:30 and 9:53pm. Fortunately, none passed security and into the stadium, where possibility of collateral damage may have been far worse.
At the same time, the first shooting occurred at the rue Bitchat and rue Alibert, where people were shot outside a café, bar and restaurant. Perpetrators fled from the scene in vehicles after causing 25 casualties.
Seven minutes later at 9:32pm, 13 casualties were reported outside Café Bonne Biere, where a gunman fired at bystanders using a machine gun.
Four minutes after the shooting at Café Bonne Biere, 28 casualties were reported after two gunmen fired at the restaurant La Belle Equipe.
Two minutes later at 9:40pm, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the Comptoir Voltaire café, causing 15 casualties.
At the exact same time, a mass shooting and hostage situation occurred at the Bataclan theater. Three men wielding assault rifles stormed the hall and seized the theater. By the time police had finally retaken the theater, 89 hostages had already been killed, with more wounded.
Although much is not known about the planning of the attacks, France had been on alert ever since January and had increased its security detail in preparation for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference. This was further compounded by ISIS (now being referred to by some global leaders as Daesh) claiming responsibility for bombing a Russian passenger flight and suicide bombings in Beirut just a few days earlier. Intelligence experts also warned French authorities of an impending attack, but to no avail.