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election

Security ‘fully mobilised’ after Paris attack

The French government says security is “fully mobilised” after the killing of a police officer in Paris – and days before the country’s presidential election. The attacker shot dead by police on the Champs-Elysees on Thursday evening is believed to be Karim Cheurfi, 39, who had a criminal record.1 A property being searched in the eastern Paris suburb of Chelles is understood to be his home, according to a police document seen by the Associated Press news agency. Belgium’s interior minister has told the country’s VRT broadcaster that the gunman was a French national. Meanwhile, a second suspect wanted in connection with the attack has handed himself in to a police station in Antwerp.

France’s prime minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said more than 50,000 police and gendarmes, as well as 7,000 soldiers, had been mobilised ahead of Sunday’s vote. “Nothing must hamper this democratic moment, essential for our country,” said Mr Cazeneuve. The attack happened when a car pulled up next to a police van on the famous avenue – which is usually packed with tourists heading to the Arc de Triomphe

Image: A bullet hole in a window on the Champs-Elysees

The gunman got out and immediately shot at officers who were guarding an area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station. He tried to run along the pavement, aiming at other police and hitting two of them. Other officers opened fire, killing the assailant. As well as the two officers – who doctors now say are out of danger – a woman tourist was also wounded. A pump-action shotgun and knives were found in the gunman’s car. :: Charlie Hebdo to Champs-Elysees – timeline of France terror attacks2

Islamic State claimed it was responsible for the attack and named Abu Yusuf al Beljiki as the attacker – though it is believed this could be a pseudonym. Security has been tight in France, just days before the first round of the presidential election on Sunday.

A witness, who identified himself as Chelloug, said he had heard six shots3. He said: “I thought they were firecrackers . In fact, he (the gunman) was hidden behind the van and shooting at the police.

“I think he hit a policeman . As soon as the policeman opened the door of the van, he fell.” He said he and tourists fled to a shop. “We saw the policeman shoot the gunman who could have killed more of us.” Another witness identified only as Ines told France’s BFM TV she heard a shooting, saw a man’s body on the ground and the area was quickly evacuated. Police were seen pointing their weapons at members of public as they cleared the area.

Image: Two people raise their arms as they walk towards police Image: Emergency services at the scene of the attack

Matthias Fekl, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the dead policeman and praised his colleagues who he said had “prevented a bloodbath”. He said: “Their composure, their perfectly adapted response in the decisive seconds, it all played itself out and prevented a bloodbath that could have been extremely widespread, extremely strong, on the Champs Elysees. “Once again all our thoughts are with the policeman who was assassinated, cowardly, savagely, in a despicable act, an act that shook up our country.”

  1. An armed soldier secures a side road near the Champs-Elysees

  2. Forensics officers search a car on the Champs-Elysees

  3. Police officers block the access to the Champs-Elysees

  4. Police vehicles seen on the Champs-Elysees, near the Arc de Triomphe

  5. People raising their arms as they walk towards police on a side road near the Champs-Elysees

  6. Armed police officers block the access of a street near the Champs-Elysees

  7. An armed police officer on the Champs-Elysees

  8. Police officers searched people in the area after the attack on the Champs-Elysees

  9. Firefighters and rescuers stand by the site of the shooting on the Champs-Elysees

  10. French police vehicles drive in convoy through Paris streets after the shootout

  11. Police vehicles seen near the Eiffel Tower

  12. Police at the scene

  13. Champs-Elysees is locked down in Paris after the attack on police officers

  14. Masked police on top of their vehicle on the Champs-Elysees

  15. Police secure a side street

  16. Emergency services respond to the shooting

/

Sky’s Mark White said: “Two men were arrested a few days ago with an arsenal of weapons . And that there was a concern that an attack was being planned to coincide with the French election.”

Several candidates in Sunday’s presidential election ended their campaigns early as a mark of respect, with the centre-right’s Francois Fillon calling on others to do the same. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has called for the government to immediately expel foreigners being monitored by the intelligence services and reinstate France’s borders.

References

  1. ^ believed to be Karim Cheurfi, 39, who had a criminal record. (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ :: Charlie Hebdo to Champs-Elysees – timeline of France terror attacks (news.sky.com)
  3. ^ six shots (news.sky.com)

Good Guy Hacker Launches ‘Security Without Borders’ to Defend At-Risk Dissidents

Some hackers have lost their way . Today, countless techies have entered the for-profit cybersecurity business, potentially neglecting what one security researcher calls their responsibility to civil society: helping at-risk users like dissidents with the security of their work, for example. To that end, Claudio Guarnieri, who has spent years analyzing cyberattacks against activists and journalists, has launched a new project tentatively titled ‘Security Without Borders’, which he hopes will more effectively connect white hat hackers with targeted groups and individuals . Guarnieri announced the project at the Chaos Communication Congress hacking festival in Hamburg on December 28. Civil society basically isn’t going to secure itself, Guarnieri told Motherboard in an interview . It’s not going to be able to build that kind of expertise that is required to actually face the issues and even understand the issues that exist. On the Security Without Borders website, visitors can click1 a Request Assistance button, which takes them through to a form asking for some basic information: their name, the type of work they do, and what sort of help they’re after . That might include a security assessment for a human rights defender, general advice, or maybe someone could send a suspicious link they are worried was part of an attempted attack against them. This message is then sent through to an internal communication platform that the group is using, Guarnieri told Motherboard.

Read more: The ‘Million Dollar Dissident’ Is a Magnet for Government Spyware2 At the moment, Security Without Borders is made up of between 20 and 30 people, Guarnieri said, including malware analysts, engineers, and system administrators. Some of us work in corporate security, some of us in academia, and some others in human rights organizations, the Security Without Borders website continues .

We want to dedicate some of our time to the betterment of global society. It’s early days, but the project already has a public mailing list3, and once people are trusted, they may be invited to work on more sensitive parts of the project, Guarnieri explained . A proposed idea is also creating a newsletter for at-risk groups about recent vulnerabilities or developments in cybersecurity; stuff that they might not always see unless someone presents it to them.

The idea is to create an external network of people that don’t necessarily want to abandon their career path in infosec, but they might be willing to volunteer some time, maybe help out anonymously, maybe not, Guarnieri said .

Our community needs to find again that political engagement.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.
4

References

  1. ^ visitors can click (securitywithoutborders.org)
  2. ^ The ‘Million Dollar Dissident’ Is a Magnet for Government Spyware (motherboard.vice.com)
  3. ^ a public mailing list (lists.securitywithoutborders.org)
  4. ^ by signing up for our newsletter (motherboard.club)

Trump confirms he’ll maintain private security alongside Secret Service

  • Trump’s campaign has spent more than $1 million on private security during the campaign
  • His team is headed by longtime associate Keith Schiller, who has been quick to cover Trump’s back and eject protesters during some of his raucous rallies
  • Private security has continued to operate during his ‘thank you’ tour through states that delivered his election victory
  • Trump will continue to be ‘surrounded by longtime allies and advisors,’ according to the campaign
  • Politico reported that Trump would be maintaining the unusual arrangement
  • Most protectees dump private security and rely on the Secret Service once they get government protection

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President-elect Donald Trump will maintain elements of a privately-funded security force to protect him after he takes office, his campaign confirmed Monday even as it criticized a report on Trump’s security as ‘wildly’ out of proportion. Trump has had private security for years, and continued to rely on a beefed-up security presence as he traveled the country and spoke to crowds of thousands of people, even after obtaining Secret Service security protection. At least some form of that protection, an unusual arrangement for a president-elect or president, will continue for the mogul once he takes office.

‘Of course president-elected Trump is going to continue to be surrounded by longtime allies and advisors,’ transition spokesman Jason Miller told reporters on a conference call when asked about a report on his use of private security. He also brought up Trump’s longtime security aide and close confidant Keith Schiller, a large, bald man who is frequently seen at Trump’s side and is often visible to the public in footage where protesters get booted out of Trump rallies.

President-elect will continue to be surrounded by ‘longtime allies and advisors,’ his transition said Monday, following a report that Trump would maintain private security protection even after he takes office

Scroll down for video Miller called Schiller ‘someone who s been absolute fantastic ally both in the field of business and on the camp trail someone who literally and figuratively has been there to support and defend the president-elect.’

‘Now obviously the main duties of protecting the president-elect and soon to be president are of course carried out by the Secret Service, who does a fantastic job,’ Miller said. ‘We ve been blessed to be surrounded by extraordinary teams’ during the campaign, he added. Politico3 reported Monday that Trump is expected to keep at least some of the security and intelligence teams after he becomes president. The article quoted one former agent who protected President Obama, Jonathan Wackrow, as saying the situation was ‘playing with fire.’

Having a private security firm involved ‘increases the Service s liability, it creates greater confusion and it creates greater risk,’ Wackrow said. According to one September report4, Trump had 11 private security firms on the campaign payroll.

Flanked by members of the Secret Service, Trump signs for supporters in Dallas, Texas

Security for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump removes Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference at the Grand River Center on August 25, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa

Security guards escort a protester from the start of a campaign event for Donald Trump in Bethpage, New York in April Politico put Trump’s security tab at $1 million for the campaign .

It quoted Trump aides as saying Schiler would likely accompany Trump to the White House and maintain a gatekeeper role. In March, a 32 year old man jumped a barricade to run towards Trump, who immediately was swarmed by his Secret Service detail . The article suggests Trump’s official detail was unimpressed with Schiller’s response he arrived about a second after other agents and that he might even have blocked a possible exit path for Trump’s armed, highly-trained agents.

A source said an agent described it as JV trying to keep up in a varsity game. Trump spokesman Miller blasted the story about Trump’s ongoing security as ‘just complete nonsense blowing it out of proportion’ even as he confirmed Trump would continue to be surrounded by what he called allies and advisors. He said of the Secret Service: ‘They re the ones who are in charge, ultimately of the president-elect s security.’

At a November rally in Reno, Secret Service agents dramatically rushed Trump off the stage where he was speaking after audience members believed a man holding a sign might have a gun. In fact, he had only been reaching for a sign that said ‘Republicans Against Trump.’ The man said he got assaulted after getting tackled during the incident . Law enforcement never filed any charges against him.

In one dramatic incident, Schiller removed Unision anchor Jorge Ramos from a Trump press conference in Dubuque, Iowa in August after Trump called for him to be booted .

Trump later let Ramos back in.

While Trump’s security has faced criticism for the treatment of protesters at some of his rallies, the Secret Service has faced its own problems in recent years, including a series of fence-jumping incidents at the White House.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ 14 View comments (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Politico (www.politico.com)
  4. ^ report (www.thedailybeast.com)