6 Questions Answered About The 2015 Paris Attacks

In the wake of the recent attacks on Paris, France has been plagued with uncertainty and misunderstandings. During such a chaotic time, it is crucial that as Americans, we remain strong, level-headed, and aware. Ignorance may be bliss, but only until the conflict eventually reaches you. It is our duty as citizens to understand the trying conflicts that will come to define our generation. Paris: the United States stands with you, and we also stands for freedom, liberty, justice, and truth… no amount of fear will force us to waver. Below, Her Campus Bucknell answers six questions that shed light on the tragic attacks of November 13, 2015. 

Who is responsible for the attacks?

French President François Hollande identified the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) as the culprit. The group also made a statement confirming its role in the November 13th attacks.

Does this mean that Islam is the enemy?

No. ISIS is an Islamist militant group, meaning it is comprised of radicalized Muslims who use terrorism to advance their cause. ISIS members adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam and consider themselves the only true believers, wherein the rest of the world is made up of unbelievers who seek to destroy Islam. ISIS has justified its use of violence by citing the Koran and Hadith; however, the majority of Muslims have denounced them.

Why Paris?

ISIS declared that the attacks were a response to France’s campaign against its fighters and insults against Islam’s prophet. The group warned that France would remain one of its top targets.

How many people were killed? Injured?

There have been 130 confirmed fatalities, and a total of over 350 casualties. At least 99 people are in critical condition.

What’s going on with Syrian refugees?

There has been a recent influx of Syrian refugees into France and other nations as a result of the civil war in Syria. A Syrian emergency passport was discovered to belong to the suicide bomber in the attacks, fueling fears that terrorists could enter Europe and other regions as migrants.

How has France responded?

President Hollande declared that France is now at war with the Islamic State group. On November 15, France retaliated by bombing the heart of the Islamic State, Raqqa, Syria. The French air strikes targeted a command center and a training center for jihadists. The air strike included 10 fighter jets and a total of 20 bombs. Hollande declared three official days of mourning in France in light of the tragedy. The president has also declared that he would like to extend France’s state of emergency for three months. Hollande, calling for “unity and courage,” stated that these were attacks “against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: a free country that means something to the whole planet.”