“Stay out of the area around the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris.” This explicit warning was given to Debbie and me by a local French friend years ago before our initial trip to Paris. It has been reported that on the evening of 13 November there were three suicide bombings near the Stade de France. Mass shootings at the Bataclan theatre in Paris’ 11th arrondissement account for 89 of the initially reported 129 attack deaths.
There are “No Go” zones in Saint-Denis. And there is a “No Go” zone in the 11th as well as in the 10th. There is also a “No Go” zone in both Paris’ outer 17th and 19th districts, two in the 20th and three in the 18th of Paris’ total 20 arrondissements (districts).
In sum, the recent Paris terrorist attacks were in areas of Paris where Debbie and I had plenty of advance intelligence to not visit. If you are like the majority of American tourists, you will concentrate your stay in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 16th. Your secondary list will include visits to the 3rd, 4th and 14th arrondissements. That is your complete field of play, so to stay. As far as hotel accommodations, Debbie and I confine our hotel visits to the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 16th. All of these are a long way from any Zones Urbaines Sensibles.
When we were in Paris last fall there had been a marked increase in security, especially in the 8th near our hotel, just over a block from the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the president of France.
Over this week and next I will be posting a multi-part series that will deal with radical Muslim terrorism from its 21st century origins to the recent Paris attacks. From the top, this radical Muslim terrorism is the result of one word—oil. And the country most responsible for fanning the flames of terrorism? Saudi Arabia. Stay tuned.