“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov
Police said that Omar Ismail Mostefai was identified from a severed finger found at the Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen killed 89 people before blowing themselves up using explosive belts when police moved in.
French police haven’t yet named any of the other attackers.
At Paris Stadium, Attacker May Have Been Thwarted
A man apparently set to detonate his suicide vest tried to enter the France-versus-Germany soccer match at Stade de France, but was turned away by security guards and subsequently set-off his explosives. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday has the details. Photo: Associated Press
Around thirty-six hours after gunmen wreaked havoc at the sports arena, as well as at a concert hall and through Paris’s streets, French officials have begun piecing together the scenario of coordinated attacks.
Another of Friday’s attackers recently entered Europe as a Syrian migrant, people familiar with the matter said, suggesting gaps in the continent’s security as it copes with the biggest refugee crisis in decades.
It wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre. Dozens of people were shot right infront of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. in an instant.
Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I – to have a fun friday night were innocent.
Isobel described how the gunmen “meticulously” shot at the crowd “without any consideration for human life” after entering the concert hall during a show by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal. She initially mistook the gunfire as “part of the show”, she said, but realised the true horror of what was unfolding as dead bodies began to fall.
Being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes. To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst i whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy i loved was dead, to the injured man who i had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so i wouldnt have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support – you make me believe this world has the potential to be better.
Isobel’s post has been shared widely on Facebook, with more than 1.3 million people ‘liking’ it and nearly 500,000 sharing it with friends.
A U.S. airstrike in the Afghan city of Kunduz hit a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Saturday, killing at least 19 people at the medical center, the medical charity said.
In a statement, MSF said the “sustained bombing” took place at 2:10 a.m. local time and continued for 30 minutes after staff raised the alarm to U.S. and Afghan military officials. Three children are believed to be among the dead.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the United States still was trying to determine how the airstrike hit the hospital. “A full investigation into the tragic incident is under way in coordination with the Afghan government,” Carter said in a statement.
He said the area around the hospital had been the scene of intense fighting in recent days with U.S. forces supporting Afghan Security Forces against Taliban fighters. The incident could renew concerns over the use of its air power in the conflict.
The head of U.S.-led forces in the country later phoned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to apologize, according to a statement from Ghani’s office.
UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that the incident was “inexcusable” and possibly criminal. Zeid called for a full and transparent investigation, noting that, “if established as deliberate in a court of law, an air strike on a hospital may amount to a war crime.”
Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz earlier this week. Tribus said Saturday’s deadly raid was the 12th U.S. airstrike “in the Kunduz vicinity” since Tuesday.
Doctors Without Borders said its trauma center “was hit several times” during the attack and that the hospital was “very badly damaged.”
In his impassioned address in the wake of Thursday’s horrible shooting at an Oregon community college, President Obama issued a challenge to the media. “Have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks in the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports,” he asked.
Here’s what that looks like (at least, for 2001-2011, the period for which we could find the most reliable data quickly courtesy of the State Department, the Justice Department, and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Micah Zenko):
Over ten thousand Americans are killed every year by gun violence. By contrast, so few Americans have been killed by terrorist attacks since 9/11 that, when you chart the two together, the terrorism death count approximates zero for every year except 2001. This comparison, if anything, understates the gap: Far more Americans die every year from (easily preventable) gun suicides than gun homicides.
The point Obama is making is clear: We spend huge amounts of money every year fighting terrorism, yet are unwilling, at the national level, to take even minor steps (like requiring background checks on all gun sales nationally) to stop gun violence.
“We spent over a trillion dollars, and passed countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so” Obama said. “And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?”
By now, we all know that there’s been another school shooting, this time at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon. But for what seemed like a very long time this afternoon, that was all we knew. Further details were hard to come by, which posed a challenge to the many journalists who were tasked with reporting on what had—and hadn’t—happened. If you, like me, were toggling between the three main cable news networks this afternoon as they struggled to report the story in a virtual information void, you saw three different and distinct journalistic strategies at work: circumspection, observation, and pontification. Here’s what I glimpsed, and here’s where I saw it.
Shepard Smith anchors Fox News’ coverage of the story this afternoon, and he and Fox correspondent Trace Gallagher are doing their best to refrain from spreading rumors and falsehoods in the absence of any verified information. “We have confirmed the shooter is no longer an active threat. We don’t know if he’s the only shooter,” says Gallagher, who proceeds to note that, in the absence of reliable casualty data from the police, it would be irresponsible to speculate on the number of victims. This is good work from Fox here.
At this point Fox evidently knows very little. The network has no cameras on the scene and no access to other stations’ live feeds, so it’s forced to go low-tech. A breaking-news article from a newspaper called The Union is called up on a big screen, and Smith is literally reading the article out loud, following along with his finger as the camera zooms in on the text. Once this grows tiresome, Smith walks to the other side of the studio, where a map of the Umpqua Community College campus has been magnified to fill an entire wall. “So the best info that we have at this moment, just about an hour after the first reports came in, is that it started here at Snyder Hall and move on to the Science building,” says Smith as he points at the map, which looks like it was hastily downloaded from the UCC website. “This is about the extent of the information we have at this point.” He lingers on Snyder Hall, as if grabbing for something solid to anchor himself in a torrent. Soon, there’s some new information: “Our information specialist says that [the Umpqua Community College] website is down at the moment.”
At least 131 Iranians are among the more than 700 killed on Thursday during the annual Islamic pilgrimage. Tehran has criticized Saudi Arabia for its mismanagement of the tragedy, the worst during the pilgrimage in 25 years.