This sample essay explores the Paris terrorist attacks, as well as cover counterterrorism efforts and intelligence initiatives because of the attack. This essay provides an example of the features and benefits of working with a professional writer at Ultius.
Background on the terrorist attack in Paris
On the evening of November 13th, 2015, the venerable and liberal headquarters of the world was attacked viciously in a terrorist plot organized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). The attacks were perpetrated nearly simultaneously by multiple gunmen and suicide bombers from locations a diverse as a concert hall, a sports stadium, and various other restaurants and bars (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
In the end, 129 people were dead from gunshot wounds and hundreds more were wounded quite seriously; among the locations hit in the attack were the Belle Equipe bar, the Boulevard Voltaire, the Petit Cambodge Restaurant, Le Carillon bar, the Rue Fontaine Au Roi, the Stade de France and the Bataclan concert hall, where an American band called the Eagles of Death Metal were playing to a vast audience of concert-goers (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
The President of France, Francois Hollande, called the ISIS attacks an “act of war” and has threatened retaliation on more than one occasion; 100 of those wounded were in critical condition following the massacre (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). Raids carried out both within France and the neighboring city of Brussels in Belgium followed on the heels of the attacks as the Paris police sought the suspects who might have escaped during the ensuing chaos (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
How the attacks proceeded
Three explosions first occurred outside the Stade de France stadium in north Paris; a football game between Germany and France was in progress when a man equipped with a suicide belt was unable to enter the stadium when security officers spotted the explosives (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). The suicide bomber immediately backed away and detonated the explosives – both the bomber and an innocent passer-by were killed, but the man was unable to gain entrance into the stadium where the death toll might have been much higher (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
Hollande was attending the game, and may have been the target of the stadium attack, although this is not known for certain since the second man also detonated his vest outside of the stadium at which point the French President was rushed out to safety (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). A third and final suicide bomber detonated his vest in a fast-food outlet near the stadium 23 minutes later (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
The Paris terrorist attack’s death toll
Various people died and were injured at different restaurants and nightlife spots around Paris, and many were in disbelief until they realized they were under fire from semi-automatic rifles (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). People were injured at each location, and 15 died at Le Petit Cambodge; 5 on the Rue de la Fontaine Au Roi; and 19 at the Belle Equipe (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
The most victims by far were counted at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris; the there concert was sold out, meaning at least 1500 people were present (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). Three Islamic terrorist attackers with suicide belts were confirmed at the scene, and they arrived via a black Volkswagen Polo, entering the concert hall from the main entrance and the back. The Kalashnikov-related firearms they wielded resulted in the deaths of 89 people as they were fired directly and without specific targets into the crowd.
The attackers are quoted as saying “God is great” and blaming Hollande for France’s intervention in the Syrian war; this led immediately to the notion that ISIS was involved in the attacks (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
French reaction to the attack
Hollande was in crisis talks with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve immediately and announced a state of emergency throughout France, closing her borders until the attacks were controlled (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). Hollande gave the order for elite security forces to enter the concert hall rapidly, and one of the gunman was shot upon police entry; his explosives detonated and the other two gunmen detonated their explosives at the end of the siege prior to capture (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015).
The terrorist attack suspects
Two of the bombers have been identified as Omar Ismail Mostefai and Samy Animour; the third man has not yet been identified (BBC News, “Paris Attacks: What Happened,” 2015). According to Steafel, Mulholland, Sabur, Malnic, Trotman, and Harley on the day following the act of terrorism, seven total attacks were coordinated and carried out, killing at least 130 people; the attack on the Bataclan lasted two hours and 4o minutes and ended at about 12:30 A.M. Paris time.
The three gunmen methodically and randomly killed people for twenty minutes before the police arrived; SWAT entered and the gunmen retreated to the upper floor of the concert hall, where they held about twenty hostages. The police freed the hostages and advanced on the gunmen who both detonated their suicide belts before they could be apprehended (Steafel, Mulholland, Sabur, Malnic, Trotman, and Harley).
More than one group in France
According to McLaughlin and Shoichet of CNN, three teams of terrorists attacked Paris, and wounded at least 352 people – ISIS, when taking credit for the attacks, said eight men were involved, but only seven were killed, leading the Paris police to believe that one man had escaped the carnage. The Paris attacks were planned in Syria and another attack was organized in Belgium; six of the attackers had spent time in Syria prior to the attacks (McLaughlin and Shoichet).
The man believed to have been on the loose just after the attacks is one Salah Abdeslam who was stopped near the Belgian border by French police the night of the attacks – he was let go as he was not an identified suspect at the time (McLaughlin and Shoichet). Two black cars, one a Seat and one a Volkswagen Polo were used in the attacks; the Polo was rented by Abdeslam and the Seat was found later with three Kalashnikov rifles in it (McLaughlin and Shoichet).
As of November 17th, 23 people were in custody; weapons including a rocket launcher and IT equipment had been seized after 150+ raids across France by anti-terror police squads (McLaughlin and Shoichet). Mohammed Abdeslam, the brother to Salah and Ibrahim Abdeslam, was released by a judge and told CNN affiliate BFMTV that his family members “do not realize yet what has happened…we found out by TV just like many of you” (McLaughlin and Shoichet).
The world’s reaction to the Paris attack
The first step to fighting against the terrorist attack was to defend national security through counterterrorism. Hollande ordered almost immediate airstrikes on Syria and raided and arrested people all over Europe in connection or possible connection with the terrorist attacks. ISIS released a video promising more attacks from their terrorist group, and the CIA’s director said there are likely to be more incidents (McLaughlin and Shoichet).
Seven airstrikes and three major explosions were reported according to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a documenter of ISIS Raqqa atrocities (McLaughlin and Shoichet). In the wake of the Paris tragedy, United States governments and residents in 2 states have shown a fear of accepting more Syrian refugees, especially since it has come out that one of the terrorists entered the United States via a Greek islands refugee vessel (McLaughlin and Shoichet). Mark Toner, spokesman for the State Department says it will still accept 10,000 refugees in 2016; six states still show no hesitation (McLaughlin and Shoichet).
The G20 acts to prevent terrorism
At the G20 summit meeting in Antalya Turkey, France and U.S. representatives introduced a plan to fight terrorism and met with Putin and Hollande to discuss Syrian refugees, the Paris attacks and tension in the South China Sea, according to Shear. Obama called the Paris events an “attack on all of humanity” and pledged his support to the French people in bringing the terrorists to justice (Shear). The Islamic State had already taken credit for the attacks, and Obama was scheduled to meet one-on-one with Hollande; unfortunately, Hollande canceled his visit following the attacks on Paris (Shear).
In his recent television speech addressing terrorism, United States President Barack Obama stated that he is committed to destroying ISIS in a “relentless, strong, and smart campaign that is consistent” with U.S. values (Collinson). Obama spoke from the Oval Office, which he has only done two other times during his eight-year presidency; he noted unequivocally that the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California was a terrorist attack perpetrated by the couple who had accepted the “dark path of radicalization” and “perverted” Islam (Collinson). Obama stated that while the threat from ISIS terrorism is very real, the world will overcome it, destroy ISIL and “any other organization that tries to harm us” (as cited in Collinson).
BBC News. “Paris Attacks: What Happened on the Night.” BBC. BBC, 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.
Collinson, Stephen. “Obama: ‘This was an Act of Terrorism’.” CNN. Cable News Network, 2015. Web. 7 December 2015.
Higgins, Andrew, and De Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko. “An ISIS Militant From Belgium Whose Own Family Wanted him Dead.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.
Higgins, Andrew, and De Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko. “Paris Attacks Suspect Killed in Shootout Had Plotted Terror for 11 Months.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.
McLaughlin, Eliott C., and Shoichet, Catherine E. “Paris Attacks: What We Know So Far.” CNN. Cable News Network, 2015. 7 December 2015.
Shear, Michael D. “France Attacks to Dominate Agenda at G-20 Conference in Turkey.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.
Steafel, Eleanor, Mulholland, Rory, Sabur, Rozina, Malnic, Edward, Trotman, Andrew, and Harley, Nicola. “Paris Terror Attack: Everything We Know on Saturday Afternoon.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited, 2015. Web. 7 December 2015.