The Islamic State has issued a statement claiming responsibility for yesterdays’s terrorist attacks throughout the city of Paris. The message is titled, “A Statement on the Blessed Onslaught in Paris against the Crusader Nation of France.” The statement was issued in several languages, including Arabic, English, French and Russian. The English-language version can be seen below.
In addition, the group has released audio readings of the message. In the English-language reading, the man appears to speak with an American accent.
“In a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah, a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate (may Allah strengthen and support it) set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe — Paris,” the body of the statement begins.
The message continues: “This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of His religion, His Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and His allies. They did so in spite of His enemies. Thus, they were truthful with Allah — we consider them so — and Allah granted victory upon their hands and cast terror into the hearts of the crusaders in their very own homeland.”
The Islamic State does not provide precise details concerning the attackers. Its description matches, more or less, the information that can be gleaned from press reporting. Eight attackers wearing suicide vests assaulted targets throughout the city, including the Bataclan theater (where a band was playing), the Stade de France (a stadium where a soccer match was being played between France and Germany), as well as restaurants and other targets. The terrorists took hostages at the Bataclan, killing more than 100 people before police raided the building.
“And so eight brothers equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the center of the capital of France,” the Islamic State says. “These targets included the Stade de France stadium during a soccer match — between teams of Germany and France, both of which are crusader nations — attended by the imbecile of France (Francois Hollande). The targets included the Bataclan theatre for exhibitions, where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice. There were also simultaneous attacks on other targets in the tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth districts, and elsewhere.”
The Islamic State says Paris was “shaken beneath the crusaders’ feet, who were constricted by its streets,” and the attacks resulted in “the deaths of no less than two hundred crusaders and the wounding of even more.”
Officials have confirmed that at least seven of the eight attackers detonated their suicide belts before they could be apprehended or killed. “They detonated their explosive belts in the masses of the disbelievers after finishing all their ammunition,” the Islamic State says.
The statement ends with a warning: “Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets, which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris.”
The phrase “dare to curse our Prophet” may be a reference to Charlie Hebdo magazine, which was attacked by brothers backed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
“Indeed, this is just the beginning,” the Islamic State says. “It is also a warning for any who wish to take heed.”
Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD’s Long War Journal.