ISIS has officially claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Paris last night that left more than 120 dead and injured dozens more. In a statement released through a well-known ISIS Telegram account and distributed by supporters on Twitter, the terrorist group called the attacks "just the beginning" and said that France remains "at the top of the target list."
"The smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign...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," the statement, which was originally released in Arabic, read.
Even before the statement was released, analysts speculated that the timing, coordination, and intention of the attacks carried the hallmarks of ISIS much more than the other likely perpetrators, Al Qaeda. According to the New York Times, "The style of the attack was in line with the Islamic State’s tactic of indiscriminate killings and goes against Al Qaeda’s guidelines. In a 2013 directive, the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, stated that Qaeda operatives should avoid attacks that could inadvertently cause the death of Muslim civilians and noncombatant women or children." The attacks against Charlie Hebdo, for example, were much more targeted and specific than those in the French capital last night.
Meanwhile French president François Hollande called the attacks an "act of war" and said France would be "unforgiving," using "all the necessary means and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat."