Paris Attacks: What We Know Right Now

· Nov. 14, 2015, 8:05 am
Updated at 7:38 a.m. ET

As Paris assesses the full toll of Friday night’s terrorist attacks that hit six locations in and around the city, here’s what we know so far:

The Victims

The attacks killed 127 people, French President Francois Hollande said Saturday morning. They were killed at several sites across the French capital:

— At least 80 were massacred in Bataclan, a concert venue where the American rock band Eagles Of Death Metal was playing. Witnesses reported a horrific scene as multiple gunmen fired into the crowd and audience members scrambled for cover or an exit. French authorities said the gunmen eventually turned the attack into a hostage situation.

— A few people were killed in explosions — which authorities describe as suicide bombings — outside the national soccer stadium. The French national team was taking on Germany at the time of the blasts, with Hollande in attendance. Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and France told NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston that the increased security detail because of the president’s presence may have dissuaded the attackers from trying to enter.

— Others were killed on the sidewalks outside of at least three restaurants in central Paris, in an area one writer described as “proletarian and ethnically mixed,” and with nightlife that typically attracts city-dwellers rather than tourists. The onset of the weekend, combined with the high-profile soccer game being televised, likely meant bars and restaurants were very full.

— Scores more people were injured, dozens severely, in the attacks across the city.

The Attackers

— Police say eight attackers died Friday night, most of them killed by explosives they were wearing. Authorities have said that they believe all the attackers are dead, although accomplices might still be at large.

— Hollande is calling the attacks an “act of war” committed by the Islamic State.

— Shortly after Hollande spoke, ISIS released a statement saying it was behind the attack, and that eight suicide bombers had been involved, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist groups.

— Bavarian police say a 51-year-old man who was arrested on Nov. 5 is linked to the attacks in Paris. He was stopped at the border crossing with Austria, driving a car that contained explosives and weapons “hidden away in compartments within the car,” NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, citing local media reports. German public radio says “the guy had documents that suggest he was in fact linked here to the Paris attacks,” Soraya says, adding that before he was arrested, the man had evidently been heading to Paris.

— French police officials tell the AP that a Syrian passport was found on the body of one of the suicide bombers.

— Some of the attackers were killed when police stormed the concert venue in order to end the hostage situation, French authorities say.

— The attackers’ weapons included automatic rifles and explosives, likely deployed as suicide bombs.

— Law enforcement officials tell Dina that the coordination of this attack is beyond anything shown by the so-called Islamic State or its affiliates so far.

French Reaction

— On Saturday, hundreds of Paris residents were lining up to donate blood and looking for other ways to help those affected by the attack. Last night, a social media campaign called for people to “open doors” to anyone needing shelter in the city.

— President Francois Hollande declared a national state of emergency. He has put tighter border restrictions into effect, although airports were still operating with increased security and Eurostar train service continued.

— More than 1,000 French soldiers were deployed across Paris Friday night.

— Hollande “vowed to be ‘merciless’ with the nation’s foes,” in a statement Friday night, the Associated Press reported.

— Much of France’s subway system has been shut down, and is expected to remain closed on Saturday. The city government reported via Twitter that almost all city facilities and offices would be closed on Saturday, including museums and libraries.

— With the closure of the subway, there were reports that French taxi drivers were offering free rides, and a hashtag circulated on Twitter offering safe places to stay to those stuck on the streets.

In The United States

— In a televised speech, President Obama called the attack “outrageous” and pledged U.S. support to France. He reiterated that offer in a later phone call with Hollande.

— Fans of the band that had drawn a sold-out crowd to a show that ended in horror Friday are relieved to hear that the members of Eagles Of Death Metal are safe and accounted for. A member of the California-based band announced they had regrouped, after being split up in the confusion.

— Other reactions in the U.S. include those by elected officials who are split predictably along party lines, reports NPR’s Domenico Montanaro. Democrats will have a high-profile chance to offer their thoughts on the attacks tonight, thanks to a previously scheduled debate at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.


Governments and officials from around the world condemned the attacks, moments of silence were observed at several other international soccer matches and sporting events, and many major buildings and monuments were lit up in French colors — though some images circulating on social media were taken days or years earlier.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

You care.

You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up.  The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!