Fact Checking the Paris Attack

Social Media is a great tool for spreading news. The only problem is that with so much data at our fingertips and increasingly faster speeds of data transfer between individuals, misinformation can spread as well. Social Media helped to broadcast the horrific events being carried out in Paris, in real time. However not everything that was sent out was true. This post is here to offer a quick and easy resource to make sure that you have the facts on the Paris Attacks

What exactly happened? At around 9PM local time, a gunman opened fire on a restaurant East of the city centre.

At 9:50PM explosives were detonated outside of the Stade De France football stadium.

At 9:57PM the Hostage Situation at the Bataclan Concert Hall took place.

At 10:30 more gunmen opened fire on yet another restaurant near the city centre. At 11PM President Hollande put France in a State of Emergency for the first time since the Algerian War and shut the French borders. A curfew was also put into effect for the first time since 1944.

At 11:30PM the French Army was spotted on the streets of Paris and a further 1600 troops were mobilised to deal with the attacks. 

What was the Death Toll during the Attacks? The latest figures, from the French Government and Paris City Hall, have the death toll up to 149. Just over 100 of those are casualties of the hostage taking at the Bataclan Concert Hall. A further 180 people are injured or in hospital.

Who is to blame? In his address to the nation this morning, President Hollande blamed the Islamic State (ISIS) for the Attack and stated that it was an ‘act of war’. 

Why is this a big deal? This is the third act of terror in France this year, and by far the most devastating. The first was the Attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Second was the attempted attack on a train between Paris and the Netherlands earlier this summer. 

Why target France? Although no formal reasoning has been put forward by the claimants of the attack it can be speculated that it has something to do with the fact that ISIS have more operatives in France than anywhere else in Europe. Well over 700 French citizens have left the country to go and fight for ISIS the Middle East, this means that they have French Passports and a means of returning to their native country to commit these crimes.

Could the UK be the next target? It is possible that it may already have happened. There have been unconfirmed reports that Gatwick’s North Terminal has been closed for security reasons. It is yet to be confirmed if this is linked to the attack. 

Finally to debunk some of the less important rumours that have been circulating.

The Eiffel Tower was not switched off in mourning as Twitter may have you believe, but rather it is switched off at 1AM every night.

The Calais Jungle did catch fire, but the cause is still unknown.

The photo of crowds standing defiantly in the streets of Paris was taken in January, not recently. No one was on the streets of Paris due to the curfew. This was the first time Paris has been put under Curfew since Nazi occupation in 1944.


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