ISIS claimed responsibility for Friday night's Paris terror attacks in a statement that analysts say appears to be genuine. The statement issued online in Arabic and French hails the "miracles" carried out by "eight brothers wearing explosive vests and assault rifles" in Paris, which the statement calls the "capital of abomination and perversion," the BBC reports. Security analyst Charlie Winter tells the Guardian that he has seen huge amounts of ISIS propaganda and he believes the statement is definitely from the group, though it was "put together hastily" and it is not clear whether the attacks that killed 127 people were directly ordered by ISIS or only inspired by the group.
The statement warned that France and other nations taking part in anti-ISIS strikes will remain a top target and the "scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign". ISIS also released a video in which a militant warned that France would not live in peace as long as it took part in the US-led bombing campaign against the group, reports Reuters. Analysts say the attacks—including an assault on a concert hall in which at least 87 young people were slaughtered —seem more likely to be the work of ISIS than of al-Qaeda, which now tries to avoid attacks that could accidentally kill Muslim civilians, the New York Times reports. In other developments:
- The SITE Intelligence Group says online celebrations by ISIS supporters suggest the militant group knew the attack was going to take place, the Times notes. "The way IS supporters have embraced this attack appears much more coordinated at a much earlier stage than massive reactions to past attacks," SITE said:
- A source tells CNN that one of the attackers has been identified as a French national who was known to police. A police source says a Syrian passport was found near the body of another attacker, according to French media.
- A US State Department says at least one American is among the 200 people injured in the attacks, the Guardian reports. He did not comment on whether Americans had been killed but said: "The US embassy in Paris is working around the clock to assist American citizens affected by this tragedy."
- While many world leaders expressed their sorrow, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is blaming the attacks on French support for the opposition in the country's civil war, the Washington Post reports. "Wrong polices adopted by Western states, particularly France, toward events in the region, and its ignorance of the support of a number of its allies to terrorists are reasons behind the expansion of terrorism," he said.
- The attacks overshadowed a meeting of foreign ministers in Vienna to try to solve the Syria crisis, the AP reports. John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned the attacks before the meeting, while Jordan's foreign minister called for unity. "We are together in this: Europeans, Arabs, East and West, all the international community," she said. "The best response to this is actually coming together, overcoming our differences, and trying together to lead the way towards peace in Syria."
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