UPDATE: ISIS on Saturday morning claimed responsibility.
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for attacks that killed 127 people in Paris, saying it sent militants strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns to various locations in the heart of the capital.
The attacks, described by France’s president as an act of war, were designed to show the country would remain in danger as long as it continued its current policies, Islamic State said in a statement.
“To teach France, and all nations following its path, that they will remain at the top of Islamic State’s list of targets, and that the smell of death won’t leave their noses as long as they partake in their crusader campaign,” said the group.
After coordinated terror attacks in Paris left more than 100 people dead Friday night, it’s already becoming clear which terrorist group is responsible.
A terror suspect who was taken into custody told police that he had been recruited by ISIS.
“I am Syrian,” the terrorist allegedly said. “I’m here with two others. I was recruited by ISIS and this is an ISIS operation.”
At the Bataclan concert hall, one of the gunmen reportedly shouted, “This is for Syria,” before opening fire.
An eyewitness said he saw the face of one of the gunmen, “who was probably 20 to 25 years old.”
Asked if he could hear what language they were speaking, he replied, “Nothing. I heard nothing, just the yelling and screaming of the people. They didn’t shout anything. They didn’t say anything. They said nothing. They just shot. They just shoot. They were just shooting at people.”
“What happened was terrible. I mean, honestly, 15 minutes, 10 minutes of gunshots firing randomly in a small concert room. I mean, it’s not a huge concert room. It’s a small one. Two thousand people were there maximum and it was — it was horrible.”
Several Twitter accounts run by ISIS supporters erupted in joy Friday night at the news of the bloodbath in Paris.
… ISIS affiliated accounts on Twitter are reportedly claiming the attacks for the Islamic State. They are using the hashtag “Paris on Fire” in Arabic to celebrate the attacks, the same hashtag ISIS used to celebrate the Charlie Hebdo terror attack. However, French citizens and others voicing their sympathy for Parisians have tried to take over the hashtag with patriotic memes.
Tim Ramadan, reporter for Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, states that further hashtags under “Paris on Fire” also include “London on Fire”, “Rome on Fire”, and “Washington on Fire.”
Meanwhile, a defense expert on Saturday said that that France has become the biggest target of ISIS in Europe.
“It is a very serious concern for France because it is the biggest target of ISIS in Europe. The ISIS has strong connections in France. They have contacts with the children and have been giving them training. It is also true that there is involvement of sleeper cells or sleeper agents in this attack,” defence expert S.R. Sinho told ANI.
“The attacks have taken place also because of the recent aggression of the western countries like USA, Britain and Russia against the ISIS. ISIS wants to show that nobody can control them and we can create huge destruction,” he added.