Paris terror attacks

ISIS claims responsibility for attacks

Wounded people being taken out of the Bataclan theatre in Paris following the shootings and hostage situation that took place on Friday night. French President Francois Hollande said yesterday that the attacks in the city, which killed at least 128 p
Wounded people being taken out of the Bataclan theatre in Paris following the shootings and hostage situation that took place on Friday night. French President Francois Hollande said yesterday that the attacks in the city, which killed at least 128 people, were "an act of war" organised from abroad by ISIS with internal help.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

France will remain top target as long as it continues with its policies, group says

SINONE (Iraq) • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks in Paris, calling them "the first of the storm" and mocking France as a "capital of prostitution and obscenity", according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group's encrypted messaging accounts.

Yesterday's remarks came in a communique published in Arabic, English and French on ISIS' mobile messaging Telegram account, and then distributed via its supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the Site Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist propaganda.

"Eight brothers, wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France," the group said in the statement.

"Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State (IS)," the statement added, referring to the attacks at the Bataclan theatre and several districts in Paris, and using another name for the terror group.

France was targeted by ISIS due to its involvement in a US-led coalition conducting an air war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, where the terrorist group declared a caliphate last year after seizing swathes of both countries.

In addition to the claim of responsibility, the celebrations by ISIS supporters online were such that the Site monitoring group said that it could suggest the terror group's involvement.

"The extent of the celebration far exceeded past online rallying by IS supporters," Site said in an analysis.

"The way IS supporters have embraced this attack appears much more coordinated at a much earlier stage than massive reactions to past attacks."

Earlier yesterday, ISIS distributed an undated video threatening to attack France if bombings of its fighters continued.

Its foreign media arm, the Al-Hayat Media Centre, made threats through several militants, who called on French Muslims to carry out attacks. "As long as you keep bombing, you will not live in peace. You will even fear travelling to the market," said a militant identified as Abu Maryam the Frenchman.

Foreign fighters who join ISIS are seen as especially dangerous because Western passports enable them to live in and travel to Western countries undetected.

"Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action," French President Francois Hollande said yesterday, without saying what that meant.

Mr Hollande will address Parliament tomorrow in an extraordinary meeting.

NEW YORK TIMES, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 15, 2015, with the headline 'ISIS claims responsibility for attacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe