Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hollande vows to be 'merciless' toward ISIS 'barbarians' after group claims responsibility for worst attack in Paris since WWII

(Fox News) Eight ISIS terrorists wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide belts carried out coordinated attacks at six sites around Paris Friday night, killing at least 127 people and wounding at least 180 others, prompting French President Francois Hollande to condemn the attack as an "act of war" and vow that France "will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group."

Speaking after an emergency security meeting to plan his government's response, Hollande declared three days of national mourning and raised France's security to its highest level. Hollande said ISIS was "a terrorist army ... a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet."

France is already bombing ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition, and has troops fighting extremists in Africa.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and a Syrian passport was found on the body of suicide bomber at the Paris stadium. French authorities are urging any witnesses to come forward. One of the bombers was a young Frenchman previously flagged for links to Islamic extremism, police said. The man was among the attackers who blew himself up after a rampage and hostage-taking in a Paris concert hall, officials said.

ISIS, in an online statement, described Paris as "the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe" and described the attackers as "eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles."

"Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the IS," the statement also read, in part, "and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign."

French police said early Saturday they believed all of the attackers were dead but they were still searching for possible accomplices. The French prosecutor's office said seven of the eight assailants died in suicide bombings, the Associated Press reported.