The Latest: Germany offers anti-terror unit to Paris
Nov. 14, 2015
PARIS (AP) — The latest on shootings and explosions in Paris. (All times local):
Germany has offered France the help of its special anti-terror unit in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Germany's Interior Minister Thomas des Maiziere said in a statement Saturday that he is in touch with his French counterpart "and I have offered him the help of German special forces."
Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said de Maiziere had offered "all support, including special forces such as the GSG9."
The GSG9 anti-terror unit was created after the attacks on the Munich Olympics in 1972 and saw its first major operation during the hijacking of a Lufthansa plane by a Palestinian group
The Vatican has condemned "in the most radical way" the terror attacks in Paris.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement early Saturday that the violence was "an attack on peace for all humanity."
He said it requires "a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all of its forms."
Lombardi said the Vatican was praying for the victims and the wounded, "and for all the French people."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has canceled trips to France and Italy after terror attacks in Paris that killed over 120 people.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying Saturday that Iran "itself has been a victim of the scourge of terrorism" and the fight against terrorism must go on. It did not elaborate why he canceled the visit, but authorities said the trip would be rescheduled.
Rouhani was due in days to travel to France and Italy. France was one of the world powers involved in recent negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its contested nuclear program.
Hossein Jaber Ansari, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, also was quoted by IRNA as saying: "Those terrorist groups that committed the Paris crimes do not believe in ethical principles and they are not loyal to any type of divine religions — including Islam."
Friends and relatives are using social media to search for loved ones feared to have been at the sites of the Paris attacks.
"We are looking for Marie, who was at the Bataclan, we have no news from her. If you see her, please contact me #Bataclan", reads one tweet from @Photographys, posted with a photo.
"If you have news of Christophe aka @MokeComputer he was at Bataclan tonight and we need to hear from him," tweets a user named @Lorelei_Jade.
Facebook also offered its "Safety Check" feature to allow users who listed to mark themselves as safe if they listed Paris as their location.
Earlier in the evening, Parisians used the hashtag #portesouvertes, or "open doors," to offer a place to stay for people who were evacuated from the sites of the attacks. In the U.S., some used the hashtag #strandedinUS to offer shelter for people who were unable to travel back to France.
Across the Persian Gulf, countries are condemning the mass terror attack in Paris that killed at least 120 people.
In the United Arab Emirates, the state-run WAM news agency said Saturday that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a telegram to French President Francois Hollande offering his condolences and pledging support for France. WAM said Al Nahyan also supported doing "what it takes to face terrorism and eliminate it."
In tiny Kuwait, emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said in a statement that he offered his condolences, while stressing that "these criminal acts of terrorism ... run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values."
In Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry official denouncing Friday's attack.
President Barack Obama has spoken by phone to French President Francois Hollande to offer the condolences of the American people for the attacks in Paris.
The White House says in a statement Friday night that Obama has reiterated the United States' steadfast, unwavering support for the people of France, calling the nation America's oldest ally and friend. Obama also has reaffirmed the offer of any necessary support to the French investigation.
The White House says the two leaders have pledged to work together, and with nations around the world, to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
A U.S. official briefed by the Justice Department says intelligence officials were not aware of any threats before a series of attacks in Paris.
The official says 70 U.S. citizens currently known to be in France have not yet been accounted for, although no Americans have been reported killed in Friday's attacks.
The official says all members of Eagles of Death Metal, the California-based band that was to perform at the Paris venue where one attack occurred, are safe and have been accounted for.
The official was not authorized to discuss the briefing publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
-AP reporter Michael Balsamo in New York.
The Paris prosecutor's office says that eight attackers are dead after a string of attacks around the French capital, seven of them in suicide bombings.
Prosecutor's office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told The Associated Press that the eighth attacker was killed by security forces when they raided a concert hall where the assailants had taken hostages.
She said it's possible that there are terrorists still at large.
She said at least 120 people were killed in the Friday night attacks overall.
Those who survived an attack on a Paris concert venue physically unscathed have been bused to a special crisis center for psychological support.
Some walked in dazed, their shoulders draped with emergency blankets.
Dozens of emergency workers and Red Cross workers in orange vests gathered in front of the building, the headquarters of Paris' 11th arrondissement, or district. A few police officers in bullet-proof vests stood nearby.
After meeting with counselors, some survivors were put in taxis to head home.
They had been at the Bataclan concert hall for a show of American band Eagles of Death Metal.
President Francois Hollande says France will be "merciless" against those behind the deadliest attacks in the country in decades.
Visiting a popular music venue where more than 100 people were killed in eastern Paris, Hollande called the attacks "abomination" and "barbarism."
He called on the French to remain united. "We will lead the fight. We will be merciless."
He praised all the emergency workers offering to help throughout the long, emotional night.
It is unclear how many attackers were involved in the seven attacks, or whether any are still at large. No one has claimed responsibility.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, tells The Associated Press he was not aware of any chatter pointing to the Paris attacks ahead of time.
Schiff says it is unclear who was responsible for the attacks, but says the Islamic State group and al-Qaida are "distinct possibilities" — with the Islamic State more likely.
The California congressman says investigators would scour any electronic devices that they managed to recover from the gunmen. He says it is possible but not definite that some of the attackers would be known to French law enforcement — as was the case with the Charlie Hebdo attack in January.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is calling the attacks in Paris "an assault on our common human dignity."
The Pentagon chief says "the United States stands with the people of France and its vibrant, multicultural democracy."
He is praising France as a NATO ally and a leader of the coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria.
The rock band U2 has postponed its Saturday night concert in Paris in the light of the deadly attacks across the city on Friday night.
HBO had planned to televise the band's performance. Instead, U2 says in a statement that it is resolved to go ahead with the concert "at an appropriate time."
For television viewers, HBO said it would replace the planned show with the film "Jersey Boys."
U2 members say they watched in shock and disbelief at the unfolding events, and were devastated by the loss of life at the concert held by Eagles of Death Metal.
U2 members say: "We hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe."
French police say they believe all of the attackers involved shootings and bombings in Paris are dead.
Micheal Cadot, the head of Paris police said Saturday that while all of the attackers are believed to have died, authorities are searching for possible accomplices in the attacks that left over 120 people dead.
Police in the U.S. capital have sent extra officers to the French Embassy and other France-related sites and high-profile locations after the attacks in Paris.
The Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release Friday night that the moves were being made out of an abundance of caution and that there is no imminent threat to the District.
The department says Chief Cathy Lanier has been in contact with federal and regional law enforcement officials since the attacks began.
The Paris police prefect said the attackers at the Bataclan rock venue blew themselves up with suicide belts as police closed in. He said the gunmen first sprayed cafes outside the venue with machine gunfire, then went inside the concert hall and killed more before the assaullt by security forces.
The prefect, Michel Cadot, said the one set of attackers was at the stadium and at nearly the same time the second group attacked within the city.
Cadot said all the attackers are believed dead, although authorities are hunting for any possible accomplices.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who was in Paris when the attacks took place, says he is suspending the broadcast of an event he was holding there.
"Out of solidarity with the French people and the City of Paris, we have decided to suspend our broadcast of 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth. Our thoughts are with all who have been affected and the entire nation of France. We send our condolences to the families of those who have been killed or injured."
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the U.S. stands "in solidarity with France, as it has stood with us so often in the past.
"This is a devastating attack on our shared values and we at the Department of Justice will do everything within our power to assist and work in partnership with our French law enforcement colleagues," Lynch said in a statement.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York is constantly on alert for coordinated terror attacks, especially in the wake of an attack in Paris that has killed dozens.
De Blasio said in an interview with WABC-TV on Friday the attack was not only sobering, but a reminder that police officials need to be prepared and vigilant for a possible follow-up attack.
Police have stressed there is "no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City."
Officers have been deployed to various locations in the city, including French government buildings.
French officials say several dozen people have been killed in shootings and explosions at a theater, restaurant and elsewhere in Paris.
Massachusetts State Police say they're increasing security around the area of the State House following the deadly attacks in Paris.
In addition, State Police said Friday they are monitoring intelligence at Logan International Airport in Boston.
State Police troop commanders also are directing on-duty troopers to have a heightened awareness of potential suspicious activity within their patrol areas.
State Police acted as attackers killed at least 100 people in a popular Paris concert hall. It was one of at least six terror attacks across the city in the deadliest violence Paris has seen since World War II.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the One World Trade Center spire will be lit blue, white and red in honor of dozens killed in the Paris attacks.
Cuomo says the 408-foot (125-meter)spire will be illuminated Friday night and in the days to come. The governor says the act shows New York will stand with the people of France.
New York City officers have been deployed to various parts of the city, including French government buildings. Heavily-armed officers stood outside of the French Consulate in Manhattan as passers-by brought flowers.
Police have stressed there is "no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City."
French officials say several dozen people have been killed in shootings and explosions at a theater, restaurant and elsewhere in Paris.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is describing the attacks in Paris as "heinous, evil" and "vile," calling them "an assault on our common humanity."
Kerry says the U.S. embassy in Paris is "making every effort to account for the welfare of American citizens in the city."
The State Department says U.S. citizens can contact 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S.) or 202-501-4444 (from other countries) for assistance.
Kerry says the U.S. stands ready "to provide whatever support the French government may require."
Kerry was speaking from Vienna, where he is scheduled to attend talks Saturday on the crisis in Syria.
Vice President Joe Biden calls the attacks "heartbreaking" and "outrageous" and says, "Such savagery can never threaten who we are."
Tens of thousands of people join the football players at Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires in offering tribute to the dead and wounded in Paris before the start of a World Cup qualifying match between Argentina and Brazil.
With players standing on the field Friday night, the crowd in the stands fell silent for a minute in acknowledging the bloodshed in the French capital. Some applauded as the tribute ended.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins says the death toll in attacks at six sites around the French capital could exceed 120.
Speaking near a popular music venue where scores of people were taken hostage, Molins said early Saturday that five attackers may have been killed.
The Paris hospital service says medical personnel are reporting for work of their own accord to help treat the injured in the multiple attacks in the city, and that others were being called in as part of a plan to deal with emergencies.
Among those called in minutes after the first reports went out was Patrick Pelloux, an emergency room doctor and former writer for Charlie Hebdo. Pelloux was also among the first to see the aftermath of the Jan. 7 attacks.
At least 100 people died in a Paris concert hall where attackers seized hostages Friday, an official said. At least five other terror attacks unfolded across the city in the deadliest violence Paris has seen since World War II.
The French president has formally declared the state of emergency on all mainland territory and Corsica during a Cabinet meeting urgently summoned at the Elysee palace on Friday night.
Under French law, the state of emergency can be decided in the event of "imminent danger following serious breaches of law and order."
The state of emergency allows state authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places. They can also define protected areas and safety areas where the movement of persons is controlled.
The state of emergency also allows police to perform house searches day and night —instead of performing them only at daylight.
Management for rock band Eagles of Death Metal, who were scheduled to perform Friday at a venue in Paris where hostages were taken and scores were killed say they are "trying to determine the safety and whereabouts" of the band and its crew.
The American band was supposed to perform at the Bataclan, a theater located in eastern Paris. The band, formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, California, was celebrating the October release of "Zipper Metal" with an European tour.
Police officials who were not authorized to be named said at least 100 people died at the Bataclan Friday, and that a police assault left at least two attackers dead.
Twitter accounts linked to jihadists are celebrating the attacks in Paris.
According to the SITE Intelligence Group tracking militant sites, Twitter posts attributed to jihadist supporters are speculating which group may be responsible. Many users expressed belief that the Islamic State group could be behind the carnage.
They used Arabic-language hashtags that translated to "Paris on fire" and "Caliphate state strikes France."
SITE says that accounts also circulated pictures of the attacks, and one pro-IS channel accused France of sending warplanes to bomb Syria and says "today it drinks from the same cup."
A French police official says top government officials including President Francois Hollande were headed to the Bataclan concert hall where hostages were taken.
Another official said at least 100 people died inside the hall. A police assault on the venue finished early Saturday, leaving at least two attackers dead, officials said.
The officials were not authorized to be named because operations were ongoing.
A French police official says at least 100 people have been killed inside a Paris concert hall where attackers seized hostages. The hostage-taking was one in a series of at least six attacks across the French capital.
A French government official says the country's state of emergency has gone into effect and that President Francois Hollande is cancelling his trip to the G-20 meeting in Turkey.
Hollande was due to leave Saturday for the meeting in Turkey, which was to focus in large part on growing fears of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists.
The official, who was not authorized to be named, said the government will hold a defense council meeting in the morning.
Two Paris police officials say security forces have ended their assault on a concert hall filled with hostages, killing at least two attackers. Neither official could be named, citing ongoing operations throughout the city.
One official described "carnage" inside the building, saying the attackers had tossed explosives at the hostages. Both officials said they expected the toll of victims to rise.
World leaders have expressed shock at the violence in Paris.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are reaching us from Paris." The German leader issued a statement saying her thoughts were with the victims "of the apparent terrorist attack."
The Secretary-General of the NATO alliance says he is "deeply shocked by horrific Paris attacks."
Jens Stoltenberg said in a Twitter message that "We stand together with the people of #France. Terrorism will never defeat democracy."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is condemning "the despicable terrorist attacks" in Paris and is demanding the immediate release of numerous hostages being held in the Bataclan theater.
Three police officials confirm that security forces have launched an assault on the Paris concert hall where hostages have been taken.
None of the officials could be named when discussing the ongoing operation, which several officials said involved dozens of hostages.
The Paris police prefecture told resident to remain home and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary.
Automatic gunfire and blasts have rung out from the area of a Paris music hall where police say people are being held hostage.
Scores of police are surrounding the Bataclan concert hall, and sirens are wailing throughout the neighborhood.
The gunfire began soon after French President Francois Hollande said security forces were launching an assault on one of several sites targeted in attacks Friday night around Paris.
A police union official says there were two suicide attacks and a bombing near the national stadium where France and Germany were playing a friendly match.
The official, Gregory Goupil of the Alliance Police Nationale, whose region includes the area of the stadium, said there were at least three dead in the attacks near the stadium, near two of the entrances and a McDonalds restaurant.
He said the explosions went off simultaneously. He did not provide more details.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, some terrorism experts say the Islamic State group is likely responsible.
Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of RAND Corp., said the extremist group is clearly the name at the top of everyone's list." He said this was because the tactic used — "multiple attackers in coordinated attacks at multiple locations" — echoed recommendations published in extremist group's online magazine,
James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA in 1993-195 and now chancellor at the Institute of World Politics, also told the BBC he suspected the Islamic State because the coordinated nature of the attacks required government-style planning.
President Barack Obama is calling the attacks on Paris "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians" and is vowing to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said he would not speculate about who was responsible.
He called the attacks a "heartbreaking situation" and an "attack on all of humanity."
Obama was briefed on the attacks Friday by his counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.
The attacks come as the president is preparing for two trips abroad. He's slated to leave Saturday for a nine-day trip to Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia. He due to travel to Paris for climate change talks at the end of the month.
French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency after several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks.
Hollande, in a televised address to his nation, said the nation would stand firm and united against the attackers.
He said security forces are assaulting one of the sites hit by Friday's attacks, without elaborating.
"It's a horror," he said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron says he is "shocked" by the Paris attacks and violence.
Cameron said on Twitter "Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help."
French police say at least 35 were killed in multiple acts of violence took place in Paris Friday night, including shootings at restaurants and a hostage-taking at a music theater.
A White House official says President Barack Obama has been briefed on the attacks in Paris.
The official says counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco briefed the president. The official was not authorized to talk about the private discussion and demanded anonymity.
Obama is slated to travel to Paris at the end of the month to attend a United Nations conference on climate change.
Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby during a friendly match between the French and German national soccer teams.
A stadium announcer made an announcement over the loudspeaker after the match, telling fans to avoid certain exits "due to events outside," without elaborating.
At first that prompted some panic, but then the crowds just walked dazed, hugging each other and looking at their phones for the latest news of the violence.
Many appeared hesitant to leave amid the uncertainty after France's deadliest attacks in decades.
Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says it is too early to know exactly what was happening in Paris.
Social media posts from purported ISIS supporters could indicate that "there was a group waiting for this, but it could be a group watching," Chertoff said in an interview with MSNBC Friday night.
"I don't think we can say this proves anything, but again it supports the idea that it's terrorism," Chertoff said.
John Cohen, a former Homeland Security Department counterterrorism coordinator, say the presence of multiple attack scenes at the same time suggested a coordinated effort to "send a message" and raises immediate terror concerns, including for other cities in Europe and potentially the United States as well. He said both Al Qaida and ISIS have relied on the strategy of coordinated attacks in the past.
A Paris police official said there were at least 100 hostages in a Paris theater following shooting and explosions at two sites in the city.
Multiple officials, including one medical official, put the number of dead at between 35 to 40 people.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named according to police policy.
U.S. Homeland Security Department officials monitoring the attacks in Paris say there is no known, credible threat against the United States.
DHS officials are in contact with their foreign counterparts amid reports of multiple shootings and explosions in Paris.
Police officials in France say at least 26 people have been killed and a hostage-taking situation is underway at a theater.
Two police officials say that at least 26 people have been killed in shootings and explosions around Paris, in the deadliest violence in France in decades.
One of the police officials said 11 people were killed in a Paris restaurant in the 10th arrondissement and about 15 killed in the Bataclan theater, where a hostage-taking is under way.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named according to police policy.