Night of terror France bombs ISIS headquarters

Terrorists have taken credit for the killing of nearly 130 people. The French are getting praise for their resilience.

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France launched "massive" air strikes on the Islamic State's group's de-facto capital in Syria Sunday night, destroying a jihadi training camp and a munitions dump in the city of Raqqa, where Iraqi intelligence officials say the attacks on Paris were planned.

Twelve aircraft including 10 fighter jets dropped a total of 20 bombs in the biggest air strikes since France extended its bombing campaign against the extremist group to Syria in September, a Defense Ministry statement said. The jets launched from sites in Jordan and the Persian Gulf, in coordination with U.S. forces.

Meanwhile, as police announced seven arrests and hunted for more members of the sleeper cell that carried out the Paris attacks that killed 129 people, French officials revealed to The Associated Press that several key suspects had been stopped and released by police after the attack.

The arrest warrant for Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old born in Brussels, calls him very dangerous and warns people not to intervene if they see him.

Read more:  ISIS claims responsibility for France massacre

Yet police already had him in their grasp early Saturday, when they stopped a car carrying three men near the Belgian border. By then, hours had passed since authorities identified Abdeslam as the renter of a Volkswagen Polo that carried hostage takers to the Paris theater where so many died.

Three French police officials and a top French security official confirmed that officers let Abdeslam go after checking his ID.

Authorities have named two more of the suicide bombers late Sunday night. 

A judicial source speaking on condition of anonymity because she wasn't authorized to speak publicly said the 20-year-old Frenchman police identified as one of the three suicide bombers to strike at the Stade de France stadium was Bilal Hadfi.

A 31-year-old identified by police as the suicide bomber who detonated his explosive vest on Boulevard Voltaire in Paris was named as Brahim Abdeslam, the source said. Abdeslam is the older brother of 26-year-old Saleh Abdeslam, 26, who is currently the subject of an international manhunt.

A third suicide bomber, Ismael Mostefai, 29, had already been named by police, after being identified through remains found at the Bataclan music hall, another of the six separate attack sites across Paris and its suburbs.

Local lawmaker says Paris somber following attacks

A local lawmaker who just returned from Paris told Channel 2 Action News he was a mile away when the attacks happened.

Brookhaven City Councilman Joe Gebbia said it was a heartbreaking experience to be so close to so much violence.

But he said attacks like these won't stop him from visiting again.

“It was memories of 9/11 for us,” Gebbia told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson.

Gebbia was supposed to be enjoying a party with his friends in Paris over the weekend.

“We stayed in that apartment for the entire night. Everybody just hunkered down and stayed until it was safe the next day,” Gebbia said.

He said he was a mile away from the Paris attacks Friday night.

See also: France closes all borders

As he arrived home Sunday afternoon he couldn't help but reflect on the somber mood in Paris when he left.

“You just couldn’t help but be so heartbroken. Such senseless carnage, children, it was just terrible,” Gebbia said.

More and more Georgians returned to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from Paris Sunday.

Terrorists have taken credit for the killing of nearly 130 people. The French are getting praise for their resilience.

“It still feels very strange there, but next day everybody was out. The French will not let this overcome them,” Gebbia said.
 
He said the attacks were a sobering reminder of the work ahead in the fight against terror.
 
“There's a scourge on the Earth right now and the nations of the world need to unite to resolve this issue,” Gebbia said.
 
Gebbia said he was very impressed with how the police handled the situation there.He said his police chief in Brookhaven has had international training to prepare the city for similar attacks.

Local Muslims speak out against Paris attacks

Muslims in the metro area are outraged over the terrorist attacks in Paris. Some in Gwinnett County are speaking out

Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen spoke to several local Muslim leaders Sunday who are sending out their sympathies.

They told Petersen that ISIS has to be stopped and they're urging America to step up.

See more: France is a 'principal target' - Islamic State

"Somebody has again hijacked Islam. Somebody has inflicted so much cruelty and crime on innocent people," said Hazeem Phudiapura, president of the Georgia chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Gwinnett County.

While he sends prayers out to the victims and their families, he hopes that France, the United States and others will work together to stop the terrorist group responsible.
 
“What they are doing for their political agenda and using Islam as a tool is going to backfire on them," Phudiapura said.
 
He told Petersen that his group is a Muslim sect that has been severely persecuted across the globe by those similar to ISIS.
 
"We know when you are put to death for proclaiming your belief. We know when the terrorists come and cut you down when you're doing prayers," Phudiapura said.

He said that's why the U.S. needs to take the lead and take the fight to the terrorists.
 
“If you leave it uncontrolled, it could cause a third world war," Phudiapura said.
 
Phudiapura said he has some concerns about a backlash against Muslims in the metro.
 
He told Petersen he has spoken with Gwinnett County officials about security, but for the most part he believes there will not be any problems.

Metro French Atlantans show solidarity at French Consulate

About 300 people rallied in Buckhead Sunday to show solidarity with the French.

The event took place inside the French Consulate at Lenox Square.

French citizens and supporters sang the country's national anthem in the lobby inside Buckhead Tower.

"Singing your anthem is something that's deeply touching," said French Consul General Denis Barbet. "We won't give up."

"It's just our way of maybe grieving and processing all of this," Caroline Coyner told Channel 2’s Rikki Klaus.

George Alameddine held a homemade sign that said "Not afraid."
 
"It's important to give the message, ‘Not afraid.’ You know, we're not afraid and to let them know that they'll never win," Alameddine said.

Outside the consulate, French and American flags fly at half-staff. Below them stands a candle-lit memorial featuring a sign that says, "We are all in the same boat … Stay united."

That's the same message the consul general wanted to get across

"We are all journalists, we are all policemen. We are all Jews. We are simply French," Barbet said.

Credit:  wsbtv.com



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