Islamic State supporters cheer Paris attacks on social media
Supporters of the Islamic State jihadist group have taken to social media to celebrate the deadly attacks on Paris which left over 120 people dead.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack which saw eight militants, all wearing suicide vests, bring unprecedented violence to the streets of the French capital, in the bloodiest attacks in Europe since the Madrid train bombings in 2004.
While the attacks are not the firs time IS has targeted France, they do mark the first time France has seen suicide bombings in the streets of its capital, which the group referred to as "the capital of abominations and perversion."
Using the hashtag , #باريس_تشتعل., which roughly translates to Paris is Fire , thousands of tweets were sent, with some using graphic photos of the attacks.
More than 500 French fighters are thought to be with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to official figures, while 250 have returned and some 750 expressed a desire to go.
Hours after the attacks, one IS user, whose account was later suspended by Twitter wrote "this isn't a lone wolf attack,but a battalion of lions roaring into heart of #France."
Another user wrote "if u punch me in the face today and I can't punch u back.. Might take a week a month a year maybe few years but u will definitely get 1 back."
Yet another wrote "After Paris comes Rome and Andalus," using the historical name of Spain while it was controlled by the Muslim Moors.
The al-Nusra al-Maqdisiya, a well-known pro-IS media group based out of Gaza released a number of graphics on Saturday regarding the attacks saying that it was a war by the "Muslims against the Kuffar," or non-Muslims.
The hashtag was later taken over by those mourning the attacks, with one tweeting "If Paris is burning, you will burn with us; that I do know. Go, and learn to love other humans instead of wasting lives. #باريس_تشتعل"
French officials have often spoken of their fears that hundreds of French citizens thought to be fighting with IS would return to France and launch attacks.
France has taken part in US-led air strikes on IS targets in Iraq for over a year and in September began bombing the jihadists in Syria, claiming to have hit a training camp and an oil installation.
Anna Ahronheim is a journalist at i24news. She tweets @AAhronheim
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