IS group claims Paris attacks, says France at ‘top’ of list

A woman is being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

CAIRO (AP) The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in Paris that killed 127 people and said France would remain at the “top of the list” of its targets.

An online statement said eight militants armed with explosive belts and automatic weapons attacked carefully chosen targets in the “capital of adultery and vice,” including a soccer stadium where France was playing Germany, and the Bataclan concert hall, where an American rock band was playing, and “hundreds of apostates were attending an adulterous party.”

The statement said France and its supporters “will remain at the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State.”

“The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders’ campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes that were of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris,” it said.

France is part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been striking the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq for the past year, and has been targeted by jihadists in the past because of its perceived tolerance of speech deemed offensive to Islam.

The claim was made in statements in Arabic and French released online and circulated by supporters of the group. Supporters also circulated an audio version read by an unidentified speaker whose voice strongly resembled that of an announcer for the IS radio station Al-Bayan. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the statements, but they bore the extremists’ logo and resembled previous IS statements.

The statements did not provide the nationalities or other information about the attackers.

The Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons issued the following statement Friday:

At this time we are monitoring all of the events occurring in Paris, as well as working with our state and federal partners to monitor events here in Indiana. We also are receiving direct information from our national operations center regarding updates and situations that may arise. At this time, we have no direct threats to Indiana or to the City of Indianapolis.

French President Francois Hollande had earlier blamed the carnage on the Islamic State group and vowed to strike back.

French anti-terror police were working to identify potential accomplices. Authorities said eight attackers died, seven of them in suicide bombings, a new tactic in France. Police said they shot and killed the other assailant.

Jihadists have targeted France on a number of occasions, including in January, when gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that had published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad deemed offensive to Muslims. That attack, which killed 12 people, was claimed by al-Qaida.

Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 in Saint Denis, outside Paris. At least 35 people were killed in shootings and explosions around Paris, many of them in a popular theater where patrons were taken hostage, police and medical officials said Friday. Two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 in Saint Denis, outside Paris. At least 35 people were killed in shootings and explosions around Paris, many of them in a popular theater where patrons were taken hostage, police and medical officials said Friday. Two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium. (AP Photo/Michel Euler

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