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Bells Toll for Notre Dame de Paris
Today at 5:50 pm EST Saint Patrick’s Cathedral joins Churches and Cathedrals around the world, ringing their bells in unison to recognize the devastating blaze that tore through Notre Dame Cathedral yesterday. The fire burned nearly thirteen hours, demolishing the 110 ft Spire and ravishing the roof of the 850-year-old wonder. Two iconic Bell Towers remain intact. Along with much of the outer structure stonework and stain glass windows like the Rose Window.
The Crown of Thorns that Jesus wore and a piece of the cross that he carried were among the relics saved. As well as many other relics inside. 400 firefighters and a human chain formed in order to save the items. France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, vows to rebuild the grand Cathedral in five years. Macron held a news conference to address the media and the nation of France. “Notre Dame is our history, it’s our literature, and it’s our imagery. It’s the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations,” Macron said.
A restoration campaign and investigation into the fire is already in effect. Many have started international fundraising. Inspectors and investigators have been inside the burned structure today. A strange person was skulking around the building yesterday while the structure was on fire. The firefighters wore red. There were no construction workers there at that time, according to reports. Hopefully, the video will shed some light.
AFP news agency said billionaire François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group who also owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion brands, pledged 100 million Euros to help rebuild Notre Dame, a UNESCO world heritage site. In addition, Bernard Arnault’s family and their company, LVMH, which includes Louis Vuitton and Sephora, pledged 200 million Euros.
Could ISIS be Responsible?
Shocking documents detailing a wave of ISIS attacks across Europe have been discovered on a hard drive. Members of the terror group dropped the hard drive as they fled their last stronghold in Syria earlier this year. The chilling plans are believed to be inspired by the terrorist attack in Paris four years ago. When ISIS killers stormed the Bataclan concert hall and other areas of the city and killed 130 people.
As reported earlier, six days before the blaze lit the Cathedral Monday, Ines Madina received a sentence of eight years in prison for her foiled plot to blow up a car in front of Notre Dame. In an interview with Le Monde newspaper in 2016, Paris prosecutor François Molins said an increasing number of teenage girls have been radicalized. She said they have “very worrying profiles” and ‘’very harsh personalities”. Molins also said “sometimes terrorist plans that, intellectually, start to be brought to completion”. Molins said 35 minors – 23 boys and 12 girls – are under investigation for preliminary charges. Nine of which have been detained.
High Alert and New Attacks
France is on alert after a deadly string of attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and threats against landmarks. ISIS is now planning to repeat this horrific attack in a new wave of atrocities across Europe. This includes an attack on a high-speed train network in Germany and on an oil pipeline in Switzerland. Seen by the Sunday Times, the documents included a letter addressed to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and co-signed by six ISIS leaders.
Even with its stronghold destroyed, the terror group still has international networks. It uses these networks to move fighters over borders and fund operations. The operations include bank robberies, vehicle ramming’s, assassinations and computer hacking. The documents reveal how a member called Abu Khabab al-Muhajir, who controls two terror cells in Germany and one in Russia, will direct operations abroad. Those attacks will focus on stealing money to fund the terror group.
“Killing infidel venture capitalists, hacking banks through bank accounts, bank robberies or robberies of places that are pre-studied. After any operation of this kind, we will send the money as we procure it.” said the letter. This terror is not just happening in France. Christians everywhere need to be on alert. At the start of Holy Week, a South Carolina church had three of its 125-year old windows broken. The church also found Islamic graffiti that read, “submit to God thru Islam”. Authorities say “Muhammad is his prophet” was spray-painted on the outside of Midway Presbyterian Church. This happened hours after celebrating Palm Sunday.