On November 13, 2015, terrorists simultaneously attacked several public places in Paris, France, killing anywhere from 125 to 300 people, and injuring many more. ISIS or the apocalyptic Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
One of the places is the Casa Nostra café & pizza restaurant in Rue de la Fontaine au Roi (underlined in yellow in map above).
According to the map above (from the Daily Mail), shooting began at 9:25 pm in three restaurants/cafés near Casa Nostra, which resulted in 14 deaths. Shooting at Casa Nostra began 4 seconds later at 9:29 pm. A witness said “he saw a terrorist dressed all in black ‘like a combat soldier’ firing short bursts from a machine gun.”
Daily Mail published the video footage from Casa Nostra’s security camera, which was uploaded to YouTube by HowISeeIt on Nov. 23, 2015. (Caution: Totally unnecessary foul language at the beginning of the video)
The video begins with HowISeeIt comparing the sound made by firecrackers vs. a machine gun, thereby making his case that the “gunfire” at one of the attack places, the Bataclan, where a U.S. death metal band was playing, was actually firecrackers.
HowISeeIt then shows the video footage from Casa Nostra. He claims that a puff of white smoke outside the café came from a firecracker thrown by a woman who then dashes into the café and hides behind the counter. I am dubious because the video does not show the woman tossing the firecracker. What I find more curious are the behaviors of two women seated in chairs on the sidewalk outside the café.
But first, let’s look at “firecracker woman”.
At the 12:50 mark in the video, “firecracker woman” runs into the café right after a puff of white smoke is seen outside — and presumably because she had heard gun shots in the three nearby restaurants. Another woman in a white top cowers in a corner of the café. (Ignore the red circle painted by Daily Mail. I painted the yellow arrow pointing to “firecracker woman”.) ↓
At the 12:55 mark, a man flees the “gunfire” outside and runs into the café. “Firecracker woman” is now in the foreground. ↓
Beginning at the 13:18 mark, three other men flee from the “gunfire” — two men on the sidewalk run away to the right; a third man, crouching, dashes from the counter of the café to the right. ↓
Despite “firecracker woman” and the four men we’ve seen in the video fleeing from the gunman, two female customers of Casa Nostra managed to stay seated in chairs on the sidewalk.
Beginning at the 13:32 mark, the gunman crosses the street to the sidewalk in front of Casa Nostra, points his AK-47 at one of the female customers seated outside, fires, then points his machine gun at a second female and fires. Then he leaves, supposedly because his machine gun had jammed. ↓
At the 13:38 mark, one of the two women who just had an AK-47 pointed at her gets up, has the presence of mind to pick up her belongings from the chair next to her, then runs away to the left. ↓
At the 13:44 mark, the other woman whom gunman had tried to shoot gets up, has the presence of mind to pick up her white shopping bag before she scampers away to the left. ↓
I find the two women’s behavior utterly incredible:
- Both remained on the sidewalk outside Casa Nostra, despite gunshots in nearby restaurants, bullets reportedly spraying and shattering the windows of Casa Nostra, and people fleeing into Casa Nostra or running away down the street.
- After a gunman tried to shoot them with an AK-47, both women had the presence of mind to gather their belongings before running away.
Daily Mail identified the women as Sophia Bejali, 40, and Barbara Serpentini, 18 — “two friends who had been drinking outside La Casa Nostra pizzeria”. Here’s Daily Mail‘s account of what the women told the newspaper:
As Sophia Bejali and Barbara Serpentini cowered under a table, their eyes shut, a jihadi terrorist who had already killed one customer aimed his AK-47 rifle at them in turn. Standing over them, he pulled the trigger twice – but had run out of bullets. […]
The gunman had earlier sprayed the front of the pizzeria with bullets, killing a man who had come to collect a takeaway pizza.
But as he aimed at the two friends he discovered his AK-47 was either empty or jammed. He is seen on the video nonchalantly walking away and climbing into a black Seat car. Seconds later the women run away. The jihadi meanwhile, reloads and heads to a nearby bar to slaughter more innocent victims enjoying a night out. […]
[Bejali and Serpentini] heard the gunfire heading their way. The few seconds of warning gave Miss Bejali the chance to push her friend under the table and join her.
Her quick reaction meant they missed the spray of bullets that shattered the restaurant’s window. […]
Miss Bejali, who was closest to the door of the pizzeria, said: ‘I just remember this black car stopped just in front of us, right in front of the terrace, and suddenly there were noises which sounded like firecrackers. After a few seconds I realised it wasn’t firecrackers, it was shooting. I pushed Barbara down under the table and she ended up covered in bruises because I had pulled her down too much.
‘I saw him get out of the car but my brain doesn’t allow me to remember what happened next. It is all very vague. We were holding each other tightly. I didn’t see many things because we were hiding and protecting ourselves. I heard lots of shots and it sounded like people were dying all around us. It was so loud I couldn’t hear any screams or anything else. Then the sound stopped and I shouted to Barbara, I said: “Let’s go, run”.’
Here’s a photo of the exterior of Casa Nostra taken by Gerard Misrahi in October 2015 (source). Note the outdoor tables on the sidewalk outside the café. Do they look like tables that the women could hide under to protect themselves from machine guns? Seriously?
Crisis actors have gone international!
H/t FOTM reader bongiornoc for the video.
A new slow-motion video shows the woman indeed tossing a firecracker into Casa Nostra. Please see my post, “Paris terrorist attack: govt operative caught in the act throwing firecracker into cafe“!