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 http://newsflash.org | APEC NOVEMBER 18 -19, 2015


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HOLLANDE: PARIS ATTACKS WERE 'ACT OF WAR BY IS'(ISLAMIC STATE); FRENCH PRESS ('Je suis Paris') REACT WITH HORROR TO ATTACKS


NOVEMBER 13, FRIDAY -France's President Francois Hollande The near-simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed at least 127 people were an "act of war" organised by the Islamic State militant group, says France's President Francois Hollande. He said the attacks, carried out by eight gunmen and suicide bombers, were "organised and planned from outside". The targets included bars, restaurants, a concert and a high-profile football match. More than 180 people were hurt. Mr Hollande has declared three days of national mourning. He has raised the security threat level to its highest point, declared a nationwide state of emergency and vowed to wage a "merciless" fight against terrorists. This is the deadliest peacetime attack in France and the worst in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings. The night of violence unfolded soon after 21:00 (20:00 GMT) as people were enjoying a Friday night out in the French capital. At least one gunman opened fire on Le Carillon bar in the rue Alibert, not far from the Place de la Republique, before heading across the road to Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia), killing at least 12 people. "We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks," Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge, said. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Seven Militants Carried Out Paris Attacks


NOVEMEBR 15 -Vive la France: WORLD's TRIBUTES CONTINUE TO STREAM IN SOLIDARITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA----
PARIS—Seven people, including one man who was previously flagged as a security risk by French authorities because of his radical beliefs, killed 129 people over half an hour on Friday evening in multiple attacks around the French capital, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said on Saturday. On Saturday, Belgian authorities arrested three people because they were suspected of having helped provide a car used in one of the attacks, said Mr. Molins, who described the first findings of the investigation he is leading. The authorities found a Syrian passport near the body of one of the attackers, Mr. Molins said, though the name in the passport was not known to French security services. Mr. Molins said the attacks, which killed at least 129 people and injured at least 352, began at the Stade de France during a match between the national soccer teams of France and Germany. Two attackers set off suicide vests at the stadium, killing themselves and one other person. At around 9:30 p.m, gunmen in a black SEAT car drove around eastern Paris, firing on the customers at several restaurants. The car arrived at Le Bataclan at 9:40 p.m., where three gunmen entered the theater and killed dozens of people. All the gunmen wore suicide vests containing the explosive TATP, a chemical used in other major terrorist attacks such as the London bombings of 2005, Mr. Molins said. All the attackers either killed themselves by detonating their vests, or were shot by police, Mr. Molins said. Earlier Saturday, French President François Hollande vowed a “merciless” response to Islamic State, claiming the extremist group was responsible for the well-coordinated attacks and left the French capital in a state of shock. “It is an act of war that was waged by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, by Daesh, against France,” Mr. Hollande said, using an Arabic name for Islamic State. “This act of war was prepared and planned from the outside, with accomplices inside,” he added, saying France would respond to the attacks. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on a social media account, but didn’t provide specific information that would allow the claim to be verified. It said the attacks were retaliation for French airstrikes against the group in Syria and Iraq. “France, because it was freely, cowardly attacked, will be merciless against the terrorists,” Mr. Hollande said in an address to the nation broadcast on French TV. “France will triumph over barbarism.” Mr. Hollande didn’t cite intelligence or give an explanation for attributing the attacks to Islamic State. Separately, Belgian police carried out multiple raids and arrests Saturday in connection with the Paris attacks, Belgian and European officials said. Belgian federal prosecutors were set to hold a news conference Saturday evening to discuss the raids, officials said. Officials said the raids and the arrests were related to the attacks Friday night in Paris. Police had been searching for a car with Belgian license plates in connection with the case.READ MORE...

ALSO: IS group claims Paris attacks, says France at 'top' of list


NOVEMBER 15 -French police officers patrol at the France Italy border in Menton, southeastern France, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Some 1,500 extra soldiers have been mobilized to guard key sites around Paris, including Parliament buildings and religious sites. The government has also re-imposed border controls that were abandoned as part of Europe's free-travel zone. AP/Lionel Cironneau
CAIRO — The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in Paris that killed 127 people and said France would remain at the "top of the list" of its targets.
An online statement said eight militants armed with explosive belts and automatic weapons attacked carefully chosen targets in the "capital of adultery and vice," including a soccer stadium where France was playing Germany, and the Bataclan concert hall, where an American rock band was playing, and "hundreds of apostates were attending an adulterous party." The statement said France and its supporters "will remain at the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State." "The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders' campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes that were of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris," it said. France is part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been striking the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq for the past year, and has been targeted by jihadists in the past because of its perceived tolerance of speech deemed offensive to Islam. READ MORE...

ALSO: AFP, PNP raised 'Red alert' for APEC summit following Paris shooting


NOVEMBER 14 -Philippine Marines mount anti-aircraft guns near the venue as security has been tightened leading to next week's APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit of Leaders Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of police and soldiers are mobilized for the annual summit of the APEC which is slated Nov.18 to 19, 2015. AP/Bullit Marquez
 The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday raised their alert status from "blue" to "red" in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila following the attacks in Paris, France.
According to reports, more than 150 people have been killed in the coordinated attacks in Paris. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and ordered the closure of the country's borders. "The alert status was also raised a day ahead of schedule as a matter of procedure following any international terrorist incident such as this morning's terrorist attack in Paris. The AFP and PNP extends its sincerest condolences to the families who lost loved ones," AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said. PNP head Director General Ricardo Marquez placed all PNP units nationwide on "full alert" to ensure the readiness of police forces to respond to any contingencies. "We have received reports of scare messages circulating through telecom and social media networks warning of purported scenarios and events. These only serve to add to public anxiety that may further lead to hysteria and panic. Please disregard such messages and report immediately to authorities," Marquez said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Philippines condemns 'horrific, barbaric' Paris attacks


NOVEMBER 14 -"The deaths of over a hundred in the attack on the Bataclan Concert Hall, the vicinity of the Stade de France, and on restaurants in the city center, were atrocities that demand a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief," President Benigno Aquino III said. AP/Aaron Favila, file
The Philippines on Saturday condemned the attacks in Paris, France which left more than 120 people dead.
French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced the closing of the country's borders. "The Philippines and its people stand in solidarity with the people of Paris and all of France, in this time of deepest sorrow and the gravest outrage against the perpetrators of these crimes," President Benigno Aquino III said in a statement. Aquino considered the attacks as "atrocities that demand a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief."  The president noted that France and its people assisted the Philippines in the wake of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013. "We stand with France now, in the firm belief that the light must never dim in Paris," Aquino said. RED MORE...

ALSO Paris attacks: New York's One World Trade Center spire lit blue, white and red in solidarity with France


NOVEMBER 14 -The deadliest in Paris since WW II. New York sympathizes as One World Trade Center lights up to France's colors.  New York's governor said the attacks 'in Paris have moved us all' New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that the spire would be lit the colours of the Tricolor after the news that up to 120 people were feared dead. The governor said the act showed 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, the Associated Press reported. Police have stressed there is "no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City." “Today’s horrific attacks in Paris have moved us all, and the more we learn, the more our hearts ache,” said Mr Cuomo. “These were cowardly acts of evil by people who have inexplicably chosen to believe in radical hatred above all else.” READ MORE Newspapers around the world react to the Paris attacks More than 140 feared dead after shootings and explosions stun France (As of November 14, 2015 9AM Toronto TIME) France declares state of emergency after dozens killed in Paris He added: “Today, and in the days ahead, New York will light One World Trade Center in blue, white and red as we stand in solemn solidarity with the people of France, just as they have done for us in our own times of tragedy.”  France declared a national emergency following the attacks and closed their borders. THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Trudeau and ISIS: Is the bombing still a bad idea?
[After Paris, prime minister ponders his pledge to end the air war on Islamic State]


NOVEMBER 15 -Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to end Canada's combat role against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it's hard to imagine that the alliance Canada is part of will scale back its operations in the wake of the Paris massacre.  (Chris Wattie/REUTERS)
READ: Conservatives urge government to rethink halt to ISIS airstrikes READ: Trudeau faces fiery foreign policy debut amid Paris attacks and G20 Below lay a crucial artery for the so-called Islamic State: Highway 47, the main east-west route between ISIS headquarters in Raqqah, Syria, and the ISIS-held city of Mosul, Iraq. On the ground, Kurdish forces were mounting an assault on the ISIS garrison at Sinjar in a bid to cut its supply line. The Canadian pilots' task was to take out an obstacle to the Kurdish advance: an Islamic State unit dug in to the east of Sinjar at Tal Afar. A second target was an ISIS ammunition store close to Sinjar itself. Both targets were hit. The counteroffensive worked. With the aid of the Canadian, as well as U.S., pilots, plus Canadian special forces trainers on the ground, the Kurdish forces drove ISIS out of Sinjar. It was hailed as a "liberation" by the remaining Yazidi community, who had been massacred and enslaved by the Islamic State. But... what happened to Justin Trudeau's pledge to bring the CF-18s home and end their participation in the war on ISIS? And will that pledge survive the massacre in Paris? 1,700 sorties, and still flying Canada's six warplanes, with an airborne Polaris tanker and two Aurora surveillance planes, arrived at a base in Kuwait just over a year ago, on Oct. 30, 2014. Since then, their contribution to the coalition has been modest but certainly not insignificant. As of Wednesday — Remembrance Day — Canadian planes had flown 1,731 sorties, according to the Department of National Defence. Of those, 1,109 were combat missions by CF-18 fighters, although they take a cautious approach to releasing their bombs and return without dropping them about two-thirds of the time. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Paris attacks were 'act of war by IS'; French press react with horror to attacks -  'This time it's war'


France's President Francois Hollande

MANILA, NOVEMBER 16, 2015 (BBC NEWS) The near-simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed at least 127 people were an "act of war" organised by the Islamic State militant group, says France's President Francois Hollande.

He said the attacks, carried out by eight gunmen and suicide bombers, were "organised and planned from outside".

The targets included bars, restaurants, a concert and a high-profile football match. More than 180 people were hurt.

Mr Hollande has declared three days of national mourning.

He has raised the security threat level to its highest point, declared a nationwide state of emergency and vowed to wage a "merciless" fight against terrorists.

This is the deadliest peacetime attack in France and the worst in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.

The night of violence unfolded soon after 21:00 (20:00 GMT) as people were enjoying a Friday night out in the French capital.

At least one gunman opened fire on Le Carillon bar in the rue Alibert, not far from the Place de la Republique, before heading across the road to Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia), killing at least 12 people.

"We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks," Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge, said.

CONTINUE READING...

A few streets away, another gunman then opened fire on diners sitting on the terrace of La Casa Nostra pizzeria in rue de la Fontaine au Roi, with the loss of at least five lives.

On the northern outskirts of Paris, 80,000 people who had gathered to watch France play Germany at the Stade de France heard three explosions outside the stadium about half an hour after kick-off.

President Hollande was among the spectators and was whisked to safety after the first explosion. It later emerged three suicide bombers blew themselves up at fast food outlets and a brasserie near the stadium.

Attack sites:

La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district - at least 19 dead in gun attacks

Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant at rue Alibert, 10th district - at least 12 dead in gun attacks

La Casa Nostra restaurant, 92 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th district - at least 5 dead in gun attacks

Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris - explosions heard outside venue, three attackers dead

Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district - stormed by several gunmen, at least 80 dead

The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan concert hall was by far the deadliest of Friday night's attacks. Gunmen opened fire on people watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The event had been sold out.

"At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood," Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told AFP news agency.

"They didn't stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee."

He said the gunmen took 20 hostages, and he heard one of them tell their captives: "It's the fault of Hollande, it's the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria".

Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. Three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.

As the extent of the bloodshed became clear, Mr Hollande went on national TV to announce a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The decree enables the authorities to close public places and impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of traffic and people.

Paris residents were asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel were deployed across the city.

All schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets are as well as Disneyland Paris. All sporting fixtures in the affected area of Paris have also been cancelled.

Police believe all of the gunmen are dead - seven killed themselves with explosives vests and one was shot dead by the security forces - but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run.

US President Barack Obama spoke of "an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians".

UK PM David Cameron said he was shocked and pledged to do "whatever we can to help".

The Vatican called it "an attack on peace for all humanity" and said "a decisive, supportive response" was needed "on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all its forms".

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'This time it's war': French press react with horror to attacks 2/19 AFP AFP 4 hrs ago SHARE


The front page of the Le Parisien.© @CyrilPetit/Twitter

French President Francois Hollande arrives to deliver a speech after a defence council meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris Paris attacks were 'act of war by ISIS' Crowds leave the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs. German friendly match near Paris on November 13. ISIS supporters celebrating Paris attacks on Twitter

"This time it's war," declared the Le Parisien daily, as France's media reacted with horror but determination after Friday's wave of attacks that left at least 120 dead.

Centre-right daily Le Figaro took up a similar theme, splashing with the headline "War in central Paris" amid scenes of carnage at several locations in the French capital.

Many papers called for unity in the country that is still reeling from jihadist attacks in January that claimed 17 lives.

"In the name of the true martyrs of yesterday, the innocent victims and in the name of the Republic, France will be able to stay united and stand together," said Le Parisien.

The "terrorist barbarism" has crossed a "historic line," said the head of the left-leaning Liberation daily, calling for France to stay resolute.

"It is impossible not to link these bloody events with the battles raging in the Middle East. France is playing its part there. It must continue to do so without blinking," wrote Laurent Joffrin in an editorial.

Sports daily L'Equipe splashed the one word "L'Horreur" ("Horror") across a black front page.

"We were Charlie. We are Paris!" wrote the Republique des Pyrenees regional daily.


PHILSTAR

Seven Militants Carried Out Paris Attacks The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Matthew Dalton, Thomas Varela, Inti Landauro 17 hrs ago


Vive la France
PARIS—Seven people, including one man who was previously flagged as a security risk by French authorities because of his radical beliefs, killed 129 people over half an hour on Friday evening in multiple attacks around the French capital, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said on Saturday.

On Saturday, Belgian authorities arrested three people because they were suspected of having helped provide a car used in one of the attacks, said Mr. Molins, who described the first findings of the investigation he is leading.

The authorities found a Syrian passport near the body of one of the attackers, Mr. Molins said, though the name in the passport was not known to French security services.

Mr. Molins said the attacks, which killed at least 129 people and injured at least 352, began at the Stade de France during a match between the national soccer teams of France and Germany. Two attackers set off suicide vests at the stadium, killing themselves and one other person.

At around 9:30 p.m, gunmen in a black SEAT car drove around eastern Paris, firing on the customers at several restaurants. The car arrived at Le Bataclan at 9:40 p.m., where three gunmen entered the theater and killed dozens of people.

All the gunmen wore suicide vests containing the explosive TATP, a chemical used in other major terrorist attacks such as the London bombings of 2005, Mr. Molins said. All the attackers either killed themselves by detonating their vests, or were shot by police, Mr. Molins said.

Earlier Saturday, French President François Hollande vowed a “merciless” response to Islamic State, claiming the extremist group was responsible for the well-coordinated attacks and left the French capital in a state of shock.

“It is an act of war that was waged by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, by Daesh, against France,” Mr. Hollande said, using an Arabic name for Islamic State. “This act of war was prepared and planned from the outside, with accomplices inside,” he added, saying France would respond to the attacks.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on a social media account, but didn’t provide specific information that would allow the claim to be verified. It said the attacks were retaliation for French airstrikes against the group in Syria and Iraq.

“France, because it was freely, cowardly attacked, will be merciless against the terrorists,” Mr. Hollande said in an address to the nation broadcast on French TV. “France will triumph over barbarism.”

Mr. Hollande didn’t cite intelligence or give an explanation for attributing the attacks to Islamic State.

Separately, Belgian police carried out multiple raids and arrests Saturday in connection with the Paris attacks, Belgian and European officials said.

Belgian federal prosecutors were set to hold a news conference Saturday evening to discuss the raids, officials said.

Officials said the raids and the arrests were related to the attacks Friday night in Paris. Police had been searching for a car with Belgian license plates in connection with the case.

READ MORE...

Officials would not immediately say how many raids were conducted and how many arrests were done. But they said there were at least three raids and multiple arrests.

And in Greece, a senior Greek official said one of the assailants whose Syrian passport was found at the scene of one of the Paris assualts crossed into the European Union through the Greek island of Leros.

“The holder of the passport had entered Leros on October 3, where he was identified, based on EU rules. We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries which its holder probably passed through,” said Nikos Toskas, Greece’s deputy Citizen’s Protection Minister, who is in charge of police.

“We will continue the painstaking and persistent effort to ensure the security of our country and Europe under difficult circumstances, insisting on complete identification of those arriving.”

Mr. Hollande’s remarks may herald a sharp escalation of France’s military action in Syria and Iraq against Islamic State. France has been bombing the group’s positions in both countries, but has so far refused to put troops on the ground.

The first results of multi-national investigation into the attacks contained a troubling finding: The Greek government said that a Syrian passport found on the body of one of the attackers was registered by refugee authorities on an island in the Aegean sea near Turkey. That raises the possibility the man slipped into Europe in the mass of refugees who are fleeing the Syrian conflict.

European security services have long feared that possibility, but scant evidence of it happening has been turned up until now.

Gunmen attacked several targets across Paris on Friday evening leaving more than 120 dead and at least 352 injured. A spokeswomen for the Paris prosecutor’s office said eight “terrorists” were killed, seven of them in suicide bombings.

The French president declared three days of mourning and said he would address the two houses of parliament in Versailles on Monday.

Famed Parisian museums such as the Louvre and departments stores such as Le Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayettes closed on Saturday. Many other shops were also shut, leaving the city’s normally busy streets less bustling than usual.

Mr. Hollande was speaking after convening a meeting of security and defense ministers to plot a response to the bloody attacks. The government has already declared a state of emergency, reinstituting border checks and closing schools.

Friday’s attacks are shaping up to be the bloodiest consequence yet of France’s entanglement in Syria’s civil war. Hundreds of French have traveled to Syria since 2011 to fight with groups there, and more than 400 remain there.

The complexity of the French attacks—coordinated between 8 different perpetrators in multiple locations—plus their apparent use of suicide belts suggests that they had support from an extensive terrorist network, terrorism experts said.

“They must have had several kilograms of explosives, they had suicide vests and they did blow themselves up,” said Thomas Hegghammer, director of terrorism research at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. “All of that is very rare on European soil.”

The sheer scale of Friday’s mayhem—six separate attacks—left authorities reeling. The government declared a state of emergency, sending military forces onto the streets of Paris, sealing off roads and reinstating border controls. Sirens blared across the city as police and emergency workers rushed to respond.

Authorities said early Saturday they believed all the attackers were dead. Yet the seemingly coordinated attacks left France’s intelligence and security services facing one of their worst nightmare scenarios: several armed groups moving undetected and wreaking havoc simultaneously.

The most deadly attack was a shootout at the Bataclan, a concert hall, where hostages were taken before gunman blew themselves up using explosive belts when police moved in, authorities said.

There were other shootings in the city’s 10th and 11th arrondissements and at least two explosions outside the Stade de France soccer stadium.

The assaults are the second time this year Paris has come under attack by marauding gunmen. In January, the capital was hit by attackers claiming allegiance to Islamic State and an al Qaeda affiliate who killed 17 people, including many at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

World leaders condemned the attacks and offered to support the French authorities in bringing those responsible to justice.

President Barack Obama on Friday made nationally televised remarks, branding the attacks a terrorist act and vowing U.S. assistance.

On Saturday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Americans were among those injured in the attacks. He declined to provide further information about how many people were involved or who they were but said the U.S. would release further information.

“The‎ United States Embassy in Paris is working round the clock to assist American citizens affected by this tragedy,” he said. “The U.S. government is working closely with French authorities to identify American victims. We are aware there are Americans among the injured, and are offering them the full range of consular assistance.”

On Saturday top European officials condemned the attacks and expressed deep shock but also their solidarity with France and the French people.

“This attack is an outrage against France, and against Europe as a whole,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wrote in a letter to Mr. Hollande.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi offered Mr. Hollande condolences and expressed Egypt’s solidarity with France, Mr. Sisi’s office said in a statement.

“President Hollande lauded the role Egypt plays in combating terrorism and noted that France intends on strengthening cooperation with Egypt in this area in the near future,” it added.

Egypt has purchased multiple French weapons systems, including fighter jets and helicopter carriers,​​which Mr. Sisi says his military intends to use to counter a violent insurgency in ​the Sinai ​Peninsula. The restive area is home ​to Sinai province, an ​Islamic State ​affiliate that claimed the Oct. 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 people shortly after takeoff from the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh.

Write to Matthew Dalton at Matthew.Dalton@wsj.com, Thomas Varela at thomas.varela@wsj.com  and Inti Landauro at inti.landauro@wsj.com


PHILSTAR

IS group claims Paris attacks, says France at 'top' of list By Maamoun Youssef (Associated Press) | Updated November 15, 2015 - 10:11am 3 121 googleplus0 0


French police officers patrol at the France Italy border in Menton, southeastern France, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Some 1,500 extra soldiers have been mobilized to guard key sites around Paris, including Parliament buildings and religious sites. The government has also re-imposed border controls that were abandoned as part of Europe's free-travel zone. AP/Lionel Cironneau

CAIRO — The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in Paris that killed 127 people and said France would remain at the "top of the list" of its targets.

An online statement said eight militants armed with explosive belts and automatic weapons attacked carefully chosen targets in the "capital of adultery and vice," including a soccer stadium where France was playing Germany, and the Bataclan concert hall, where an American rock band was playing, and "hundreds of apostates were attending an adulterous party."

The statement said France and its supporters "will remain at the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State."

"The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders' campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes that were of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris," it said.

France is part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been striking the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq for the past year, and has been targeted by jihadists in the past because of its perceived tolerance of speech deemed offensive to Islam.

READ MORE...

The claim was made in statements in Arabic and French released online and circulated by supporters of thegroup. Supporters also circulated an audio version read by an unidentified speaker whose voice strongly resembled that of an announcer for the IS radio station Al-Bayan. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the statements, but they bore the extremists' logo and resembled previous IS statements.

The statements did not provide the nationalities or other information about the attackers.

French President Francois Hollande had earlier blamed the carnage on the Islamic State group and vowed to strike back.

French anti-terror police were working to identify potential accomplices. Authorities said eight attackers died, seven of them in suicide bombings, a new tactic in France. Police said they shot and killed the other assailant.

Jihadists have targeted France on a number of occasions, including in January, when gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that had published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad deemed offensive to Muslims. That attack, which killed 12 people, was claimed by al-Qaida.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

120 dead in Paris attacks, worst since WWII By Lori Hinnant and Greg Keller (Associated Press) | Updated November 14, 2015 - 10:13am 0 134 googleplus0 0


A man is being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. AP/Thibault Camus

PARIS (UPDATED 2:27 p.m.) — A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed at least 120 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. President Francois Hollande condemned it as terrorism and pledged that France would stand firm against its foes.

The worst carnage was at a concert hall hosting an American rock band, where scores of people were held hostage and attackers ended the standoff by detonating explosive belts. Police who stormed the building encountered a bloody scene of horror inside.

When the attacks were over, eight attackers were dead — seven of them in suicide explosions, one killed by security forces in the music venue, Paris prosecutor's spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told The Associated Press.

She could not exclude the possibility that some attackers might still be at large. Authorities are searching for possible accomplices.

The death toll was at least 120 people at six sites, including the national stadium and a circle of popular nightspots, Thibault-Lecuivre said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Jihadists on Twitter immediately praised them and criticized France's military operations against Islamic State extremists. Witnesses in the concert hall described hearing attackers say "Allahu Akbar."

READ MORE...

Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders, although officials later said they were just re-imposing border checks that had been removed after Europe created its free-travel zone in the 1980s.

Metro lines shut down and streets emptied on the mild fall evening as fear spread through the city, still aching from the horrors of the Charlie Hebdo attack just 10 months ago.

The attack unfolded with and three suicide bombings outside the national stadium during a soccer match between the French and German national teams, Thibault-Lecuivre said.

Within minutes, according to Paris police chief Michel Cadot, another group of attackers sprayed cafes outside the concert hall with machine gunfire, then stormed inside and opened fire on the panicked audience. As police closed in, three detonated explosive belts, killing themselves.

Another attacker detonated a suicide bomb on Boulevard Voltaire, near the music hall, the prosecutor's office said.

Hollande, who had to be evacuated from the stadium when the bombs went off outside, later vowed that the nation would stand firm and united: "A determined France, a united France, a France that joins together and a France that will not allow itself to be staggered even if today, there is infinite emotion faced with this disaster, this tragedy, which is an abomination, because it is barbarism."

In addition to the deaths at the concert hall, dozens were killed in an attack on a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement and several other establishments crowded on a Friday night, police said. Authorities said at least three people died when the bombs went off outside the soccer stadium.

All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named in the quickly moving investigation.

"This is a terrible ordeal that again assails us," Hollande said in a nationally televised address. "We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are."

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Washington, decried an "attack on all humanity," calling the Paris violence an "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians" and vowing to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France-Germany exhibition soccer game. A police union official, Gregory Goupil of the Alliance Police Nationale, whose region includes the area of the stadium, said there were two suicide attacks and a bombing that killed at least three people near two entrances and a McDonalds.

The blasts penetrated the sounds of cheering fans, according to an Associated Press reporter in the stadium. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.

France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks. Hollande canceled a planned trip to this weekend's G-20 summit in Turkey, which was to focus in large part on growing fears of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists.

Emilio Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at Le Carillon restaurant, one of the restaurants targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk, when the shooting started. He said he didn't see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner, then ran away.

"It sounded like fireworks," he said.

France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died, including the three attackers. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.

This time, they targeted young people enjoying a rock concert and ordinary city residents enjoying a Friday night out.

One of the targeted restaurants, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, as is the Bataclan, among the best-known venues in eastern Paris, near the trendy Oberkampf area known for a vibrant nightlife. The California-based band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play there Friday night.

Among the first physicians to respond to the wounded Friday was Patrick Pelloux, an emergency room doctor and former Charlie Hebdo writer who was among the first to enter the offices Jan. 7 to find his friends and colleagues dead.

The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers thwarted an attempted attack by a heavily armed man.

France's military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past.

French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have travelled to Syria and returned home with skills to stage violence.

Though it was unclear who was responsible for Friday night's violence, the Islamic State is "clearly the name at the top of everyone's list," said Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of the Washington-based RAND Corporation.

Jenkins said the tactic used — "multiple attackers in coordinated attacks at multiple locations" — echoed recommendations published in the extremist group's online magazine, Dabbiq, over the summer.

"The big question on everyone's mind is, were these attackers, if they turn out to be connected to one of the groups in Syria, were they homegrown terrorists or were they returning fighters from having served" with the Islamic State group, Jenkins said. "That will be a huge question."

___

Angela Charlton, Sylvie Corbet, Jerome Pugmire, Samuel Petrequin, John Leicester and Philippe Sotto in Paris; Jamey Keaten in Geneva and John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels contributed to this report.


PHILSTAR

'Red alert' raised for APEC summit following Paris shooting By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated November 14, 2015 - 2:57pm 1 1383 googleplus2 0


Philippine Marines mount anti-aircraft guns near the venue as security has been tightened leading to next week's APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit of Leaders Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of police and soldiers are mobilized for the annual summit of the APEC which is slated Nov.18 to 19, 2015. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday raised their alert status from "blue" to "red" in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila following the attacks in Paris, France.

According to reports, more than 150 people have been killed in the coordinated attacks in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and ordered the closure of the country's borders.

"The alert status was also raised a day ahead of schedule as a matter of procedure following any international terrorist incident such as this morning's terrorist attack in Paris. The AFP and PNP extends its sincerest condolences to the families who lost loved ones," AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said.

PNP head Director General Ricardo Marquez placed all PNP units nationwide on "full alert" to ensure the readiness of police forces to respond to any contingencies.

"We have received reports of scare messages circulating through telecom and social media networks warning of purported scenarios and events. These only serve to add to public anxiety that may further lead to hysteria and panic. Please disregard such messages and report immediately to authorities," Marquez said.

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Marquez, however, clarified that the police has not monitored any specific or direct threat in the country.

In a statement, President Benigno Aquino III assured that the government is taking all necessary precautions and that the PNP is assessing the situation.

"There is no credible threat registered at this time but let us all be cooperative and vigilant. The Department of Foreign Affairs will be issuing updates on the situation in Paris and has been directed to render all necessary assistance to our countrymen in France," Aquino said.

The DFA reported that no Filipino casualty has been recorded yet in the attacks in France.


PHILSTAR

Philippines condemns 'horrific, barbaric' Paris attacks By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated November 14, 2015 - 2:17pm 3 101 googleplus0 2


"The deaths of over a hundred in the attack on the Bataclan Concert Hall, the vicinity of the Stade de France, and on restaurants in the city center, were atrocities that demand a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief," President Benigno Aquino III said. AP/Aaron Favila, file

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines on Saturday condemned the attacks in Paris, France which left more than 120 people dead.

French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced the closing of the country's borders.

"The Philippines and its people stand in solidarity with the people of Paris and all of France, in this time of deepest sorrow and the gravest outrage against the perpetrators of these crimes," President Benigno Aquino III said in a statement.

Aquino considered the attacks as "atrocities that demand a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief."

The president noted that France and its people assisted the Philippines in the wake of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013.

"We stand with France now, in the firm belief that the light must never dim in Paris," Aquino said.

READ MORE...

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stressed that the world must stand together against violent extremism.

"The Philippines condemns unequivocally the horrific terror attacks on Paris. There is no possible justification for such barbaric savagery," DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said.

The DFA assured that no Filipino casualty has been reported yet in the coordinated attacks in Paris.

RELATED: LIVE updates: Paris 'terror' attacks


INDEPENDENT NEWS UK

Paris attacks: New York's One World Trade Center spire lit blue, white and red in solidarity with France Andrew Buncombe New York @AndrewBuncombe 11 hours ago23 comments


One World Trade Center spire with lit red, blue and white Twitter In a move that recalled a French newspaper announcing “nous sommes tous Américains” in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, New York’s One World Trade Centre spire was lit blue, white and red to honour the victims of the Paris attacks

New York's governor said the attacks 'in Paris have moved us all'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that the spire would be lit the colours of the Tricolor after the news that up to 120 people were feared dead. The governor said the act showed 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, the Associated Press reported.

Police have stressed there is "no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City."

“Today’s horrific attacks in Paris have moved us all, and the more we learn, the more our hearts ache,” said Mr Cuomo.

“These were cowardly acts of evil by people who have inexplicably chosen to believe in radical hatred above all else.”

READ MORE Newspapers around the world react to the Paris attacks

More than 140 feared dead after shootings and explosions stun France (As of November 14, 2015 9AM Toronto TIME)

France declares state of emergency after dozens killed in Paris

He added: “Today, and in the days ahead, New York will light One World Trade Center in blue, white and red as we stand in solemn solidarity with the people of France, just as they have done for us in our own times of tragedy.”

France declared a national emergency following the attacks and closed their borders.


Trudeau and ISIS: Is the bombing still a bad idea? After Paris, prime minister ponders his pledge to end the air war on Islamic State By Terry Milewski, CBC News Posted: Nov 14, 2015 5:42 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 14, 2015 8:52 PM ET


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to end Canada's combat role against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it's hard to imagine that the alliance Canada is part of will scale back its operations in the wake of the Paris massacre.  (Chris Wattie/REUTERS)

[Terry Milewski is CBC-TV's senior correspondent in Ottawa, to which he returned in 2009 after working in more than 30 countries over three decades with the CBC. Milewski was The National's first Middle East correspondent, spent eight years in Washington and won a Gemini award for his coverage of the 1997 APEC Summit in Vancouver.]

READ: Conservatives urge government to rethink halt to ISIS airstrikes

READ: Trudeau faces fiery foreign policy debut amid Paris attacks and G20

Below lay a crucial artery for the so-called Islamic State: Highway 47, the main east-west route between ISIS headquarters in Raqqah, Syria, and the ISIS-held city of Mosul, Iraq.

On the ground, Kurdish forces were mounting an assault on the ISIS garrison at Sinjar in a bid to cut its supply line. The Canadian pilots' task was to take out an obstacle to the Kurdish advance: an Islamic State unit dug in to the east of Sinjar at Tal Afar. A second target was an ISIS ammunition store close to Sinjar itself.

Both targets were hit. The counteroffensive worked. With the aid of the Canadian, as well as U.S., pilots, plus Canadian special forces trainers on the ground, the Kurdish forces drove ISIS out of Sinjar. It was hailed as a "liberation" by the remaining Yazidi community, who had been massacred and enslaved by the Islamic State.

But... what happened to Justin Trudeau's pledge to bring the CF-18s home and end their participation in the war on ISIS? And will that pledge survive the massacre in Paris?

1,700 sorties, and still flying

Canada's six warplanes, with an airborne Polaris tanker and two Aurora surveillance planes, arrived at a base in Kuwait just over a year ago, on Oct. 30, 2014. Since then, their contribution to the coalition has been modest but certainly not insignificant.

As of Wednesday — Remembrance Day — Canadian planes had flown 1,731 sorties, according to the Department of National Defence. Of those, 1,109 were combat missions by CF-18 fighters, although they take a cautious approach to releasing their bombs and return without dropping them about two-thirds of the time.

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In addition, the C-150 Polaris tanker flew 302 sorties, pouring nearly 8,160 tonnes of jet fuel into coalition aircraft. The two Auroras conducted a further 320 reconnaissance missions, gathering intelligence on ISIS movements.

So they've been busy. Their mission was laid out by the Conservative government in a resolution authorizing it in October 2014. "Unless confronted with strong and direct force, the threat ISIL poses to international peace and security, including to Canadian communities, will continue to grow," it said, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.

Since then, has the threat diminished? The bloodbath in Paris says no.

An easy solution?

Upon his departure from Canada for the G20 summit in Turkey, Justin Trudeau ducked the question of whether he would reconsider his plan to bring the CF-18s home.

"It's too soon to jump to any conclusions," he told reporters at the Ottawa airport.

Previously, though, he has struggled to explain just why he opposed the bombing mission. In an interview on CBC's Power and Politics on June 23, he said the Harper government had failed "miserably" to show why it was the right mission for Canada. Instead, he preferred to enhance humanitarian efforts and to beef up the training mission by Canadian special forces in Iraq.

Trudeau was asked, ​"If you don't want to bomb a group as ghastly as ISIS, when would you ever support real military action as opposed to just training?"

Trudeau dismissed the question.

"That's a nonsensical question and you know that very well," he said. "The Liberal Party has always — and I have always — been supportive of Canada standing up for its values and taking action when necessary."

Trudeau went on, "The question I have for this government, which has failed miserably to do this, is to demonstrate why the best mission for Canada is to participate in a bombing mission."

He also noted that Western military intervention often doesn't end well. "Whether it's Libya or whether it's Iraq, it doesn't necessarily contribute to the kind of outcomes that people would responsibly like to see, and what I've committed to stay away from is the kind of easy solutions in a very complex area that this [Conservative] government has specialized in."

Less than five months later, what now? Is the bombing still just an "easy solution"? Asked repeatedly when the CF-18s will come home, Trudeau has sidestepped the question, saying he will withdraw them sometime, but "responsibly" and in consultation with Canada's allies. He never says when.

 
Media PM Trudeau on Paris attacks4:49

Does that mean Trudeau will break his promise? Not necessarily.

Oddly enough, he could keep it by sticking with Stephen Harper's plan. As it stands, the deployment ordered by the Conservative government extends to the end of March 2016. Trudeau, then, could honour his pledge by simply saying they will come home after that.

And after Paris, who will complain that it's not soon enough?

Not packing yet

Canada's pilots, and 600 supporting troops based in Kuwait, sure don't sound like they're packing up. The mission "continues for the time being under the mandate previously directed by government," says a statement by National Defence spokesman Capt. Kirk Sullivan.

The Armed Forces, Sullivan goes on, "stand ready to implement government of Canada direction when it comes and will liaise with coalition partners to investigate options and transition our military operations in the region."

So we're not going to leave our allies in the lurch. We're integrated into a coalition and we're not going to bail out suddenly.

"We are part of an alliance," the statement concludes, "and we will want to ensure this is done in a co-ordinated manner."

Bugging out — or stepping up?

But it's hard to imagine that the alliance, under U.S. leadership, will scale back its assault on ISIS in the wake of the Paris massacre.

Already, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, has told the New York Times that, "If this doesn't create in the world a fierce determination to rid ourselves of this scourge, I don't know what will."

Nor does it seem that ISIS is in retreat after the defeat at Sinjar. Rather, it's going global, bragging that worse is to come.

"This attack is the first of the storm," said an Islamic State statement hailing the Paris horror, "and a warning to those who wish to learn. Allahu Akbar!"

Trudeau, then, has an out. Withdrawing the planes now won't look good. But, for at least another four months, he can keep them flying — and still keep a promise that now seems like a liability.

And in March? A lot can change by then.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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