NewsWorld"What we feared was happening": François Molins recounts the...

“What we feared was happening”: François Molins recounts the night of November 13, 2015 – LCI


STORY – On November 13, 2015, 130 people were killed by a jihadist commando in a series of attacks claimed by the Islamic State. François Molins, former public prosecutor of Paris, quickly went to the affected places. Guest of LCI this Sunday evening, he looks back on this dreadful night.

At 9:16 p.m. on Friday, November 13, 2015, Paris plunges into horror. 130 people will lose their lives in a series of simultaneous attacks, the deadliest perpetrated in Europe by the Islamic State, which have brought mourning around the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, several bars and restaurants in the 10th and 11th arrondissements of the capital, as well as the Bataclan room.

Three days before the opening of the trial of the murderers of the November 13 attacks, where twenty defendants are tried, François Molins, public prosecutor of Paris at the time, returned to the LCI set on this night of terror.

All the info on

The extraordinary trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015

As the attacks begin, the magistrate is about to go to bed. Toward “21h20-25”, he receives a “first phone call from a Parisian police official” to warn him of the first attack at the Stade de France.

“I tried to verify the information. I ask my wife to turn on the television. Ten minutes later, I see the first banners appearing on a 24-hour news channel on the shootings on the terraces.”, he recalls. At 9:24 p.m., eight minutes after the first explosion at the Stade de France, three jihadists stopped in front of the bar Le Carillon and the restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, in the 10th arrondissement, and strafed customers seated on terraces. In the moments that follow, the commando in the car will target four other establishments.

“I understood immediately that what we dreaded was happening”, says François Molins. “I have two possibilities: either I stay at home and wait for the information, I might have waited a long time; or go to the front of the information to find out more, to anticipate and make the right decisions faster. “

“I did not ask myself the question of the risk”

The prosecutor then left his home and went to the outskirts of the terraces of La Bonne Bière and Le Carillon. When he arrived on the scene, a police officer took off his bulletproof vest and put it on. “I had not asked myself the question of the risk. If it had to be done again, I would do the same again. I did well to go, it allowed more reactivity, speed, and not to not take delay in the implementation of our system. “

At 9.47 p.m., three other jihadists from the commando entered the Bataclan, where they shot 90 people. Less than ten minutes later, at 9:56 p.m., a commissioner from the anti-crime brigade (Bac) and his driver were the first to enter the concert hall. They kill one of the terrorists near the scene, while the other two take refuge upstairs with hostages.

“The intervention of Commissioner Bac and his driver stabilizes the situation. We see that there are fewer shots afterwards, fewer executions. It allows the situation to be frozen with the two terrorists and their hostages who have gone. take refuge upstairs. It was a very important element that saved a lot of lives “, summarizes today François Molins.

“Of suffering and indignation”

The terrorists take refuge with a dozen hostages in a corridor. At this moment, “there is a double dimension”. “We must restore public order but there is also a crime which is in the process of being committed. The decision rests with the prefect of police, it was Michel Cadot. Around midnight, the head of the BRI and the director of the PJ came to see us saying: ‘we must not delay the life of the hostages is in danger’. We worked together, we were quickly of the same opinion. “

The assault is given, the two attackers killed. As François Molins details, the jihadists “want to die, it’s something that has been well integrated since the Merah affair. The jihadists are not people who come to negotiate but to kill the police and die”.

On video

“Heads resting on bags in which the phones rang, rang without stopping”: François Molins looks back on his entry into the Bataclan, November 13, 2015

From that night, François Molins retains “the horror” from what he saw, “on the terraces, in front of and in the Bataclan”, as well as “of the suffering and indignation over this situation and those who committed it”. Inside the Bataclan he remembers “heads which rested on bags in which the telephones rang, rang without stopping”.

“When you see things like that and everything that people have gone through, it probably made me even more sensitive to the suffering of others.”, he assures, moved.

Read also

  • Attacks of November 13: exceptional trial, unique device
  • EXCLUSIVE TF1 / LCI – The last images of Abaaoud, alleged coordinator of the attacks

While the trial of the November 13 attacks opens on September 8, it is, for François Molins, the opportunity “to allow the victims to facilitate their reconstruction work”. And the magistrate concluded: “It is a duty of memory.”

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