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Heavy security blankets Las Vegas Marathon in wake of shooting

It’s the biggest event since a gunman, hiding in a hotel room above the famous Strip, killed 58 people at an outdoor concert.

More than month later, authorities still don’t know 1what drove 64-year-old wealthy retiree Stephen Paddock to stage the attack . Paddock was found dead in his hotel room — apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot. “There’s a subdued tone to the race this year,” marathon spokesman Dan Cruz told CNN affiliate KSNV2.Police will have 350 officers on the ground and will use dump trucks, buses and other large vehicles as barriers to protect the crowds, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Captain Andy Walsh told CNN affiliate KTNV3.

“We’ve added some counter-sniper surveillance posts along the route . We’re going to have coverage from our helicopter unit,” Walsh said. The city is also working to install 800 steel posts along the Strip as part of larger plan to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart, KSNV reports.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon4 begins at 4:30 p.m . local time (7:30 p.m . ET) and is expected to draw 40,000 runners from more than 70 countries, CNN affiliate KLAS5 reports.

Organizers bill it as “a unique opportunity for marathoners,” saying the race starts at sunset, when “the city comes to life with lights shining like you’ve never seen before.”

Runners defiant

Few runners canceled their registrations in wake of last month’s shooting, Cruz told KSNV. “I think it’s going to be the safest race we’ve ever been in,” Las Vegan Jim Lamatrice told the CNN affiliate. Participants have been warned to expect a greater security presence than in years past . Runners are being funneled into a blocked-off starting area, where their bibs will be checked and confirmed both upon entry and at the starting line. Some say the shooting has given the marathon new meaning.

Esther Reincke told KTNV6 that she is dedicating her marathon to Cameron Robinson, her coworker and running buddy who was killed in the shooting.

“I can run now and Cameron can’t .

That’s really moving for me, to have somebody that was so young and so full of life and really just getting his life going,” Reincke said.

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Runners are encouraged to wear #VegasStrong t-shirts, and organizers have included tributes to the victims along the race course . The first two and half miles will be “an extended moment of silence,” according to Cruz . The rest of the course will follow the typical “Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon formula” by featuring a live band at every mile to fire up racers. The course will also include a 300-foot #VegasStrong wall signed by runners and lit up in honor of the shooting victims.

References

  1. ^ still don’t know (www.cnn.com)
  2. ^ KSNV (news3lv.com)
  3. ^ KTNV (www.ktnv.com)
  4. ^ Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (www.runrocknroll.com)
  5. ^ KLAS (www.lasvegasnow.com)
  6. ^ Esther Reincke told KTNV (www.ktnv.com)

Terror threat as Heathrow Airport security files found dumped in the street

Heathrow chiefs are reeling after a memory stick crammed with confidential information was found in the street posing a risk to national security . Britain s biggest airport1 launched a very, very urgent investigation after the Sunday Mirror alerted them to the frightening security lapse. The USB stick containing 76 folders with maps, videos and documents was not encrypted and did not require a password.

The man who found it plugged it into a library computer and was alarmed at what he saw . It revealed:

  • The exact route the Queen2 takes when using the airport and security measures used to protect her.
  • Files disclosing every type of ID needed even those used by covert cops 3 to access restricted areas.
  • A timetable of patrols that was used to guard the site against suicide bombers and terror attacks4.
  • Maps pinpointing CCTV cameras and a network of tunnels and escape shafts linked to the Heathrow Express.
  • Routes and safeguards for Cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries.
  • Details of the ultrasound radar system used to scan runways and the perimeter fence.

The scare comes just weeks after Britain s terror threat stood at critical following the Parsons Green Tube bomb bid . It is still at severe.

The files revealed the exact route the Queen takes

Read More

The USB stick was found by a member of the public and handed to the Sunday Mirror. A security source said: In the wrong hands this would represent a profound threat in terms of terrorism or espionage.

“Aviation security is under the microscope because of the desire by terrorists to bring planes down in a spectacular fashion . Security services would not want this leaked or sold to hostile parties.

Met Police detectives were liaising with airport chiefs to work out how the USB drive, with a massive 2.5GB of data, ended up in the street.

The USB stick was found by a member of the public (stock image)

Airport insiders revealed they were trying to determine if there had been an incompetent data breach or if someone had been accessing files intentionally. Police fear it may have been copied and circulated on the dark web where terrorists and criminals buy information. The level of detail could have taken years to compile and involve a number of different systems.

A police source said: The fear is that this information could have been downloaded and disseminated God knows where.

There are fears the information could have been downloaded

“The worry is it ends up on the dark web and used by bad guys to pick holes in airport security. A former counter-terrorism chief who specialises in airport security told the Sunday Mirror: There are serious questions to be answered.

Why was this sensitive material held on an unencrypted memory stick and taken off site ? It s a huge security breach and massively embarrassing for those in charge of security.

“Knowing certain aspects of this information may make it easier for potential attackers to avoid detection.

And the cumulative impact of having so many documents, videos, maps and images all in one place represents a security risk.

A terror expert says there are serious implications

The Sunday Mirror was contacted by an unemployed man who found the stick while on his way to the library to search the internet for work. He spotted the memory stick among leaves on the pavement in Ilbert Street, in Queen s Park, West London.

He said: I was curious about what it contained so a few days later, when I went back to the library, I plugged it into the computer . All these files were there . I couldn t believe it. There were at least 174 documents . Some were marked as confidential or restricted but could still be read.

Maps laid bare details of the airport s Royal Suite, used by the Queen, Cabinet members and foreign dignitaries.

The USB stick contained maps of Heathrow

And there were photos of X-ray machines and scanning equipment used by Her Majesty. The Royal Suite which costs 2,800 to hire for a single flight is hidden from view in Terminal 5 and guests are driven directly to it. But the memory stick holds images of the route leading up to the suite and satellite images with the location of nearby checkpoints.

Details of screening processes in Windsor Suite used by stars including singer Cheryl Tweedy were also revealed. Other files listed those exempt from screening , details of drivers ferrying VIP guests to the suite and radio codes in the case of an aircraft hijacking .

There were photos of X-ray machines used by the Queen

Other maps showed where maintenance tunnels and escape shafts link the airport to the Heathrow Express train line. Satellite images and operating manuals for the Doppler radar surveillance system were also stored.

An expert who helped us examine the memory stick said the information may help facilitate an attack if it fell in the wrong hands. He said: Knowing this information would cut down on surveillance and could potentially make access easier.

Security chiefs will be working hard to ensure there is no physical threat as a result of this breach and changing processes if necessary.

One document highlighted the stabbing at Leytonstone Tube station

“It is not helpful certainly not best practice to have maps and drawings of one of the UK s biggest airports left in the street.

It is serving up intelligence on a plate to people . It s hugely embarrassing and should not have happened.

“In the wrong hands it could potentially be very helpful and would save them a lot of time in planning an attack. The Sunday Mirror has passed the file to Heathrow intelligence chiefs .

The man who found it has been interviewed by airport security chiefs. Insiders admitted it sparked a very, very urgent probe and that it posed a risk to national security .

The Tunisia beach massacre was also referenced

One document highlighted recent terror attacks to illustrate the type of threat Heathrow could face. It referenced the Leytonstone Tube stabbing in 2015, the Tunisia beach massacre which claimed the lives of 30 British tourists the same year and the 2016 bombing in Istanbul s Atat rk international airport.

And the memory stick was found just days after US intelligence warned Islamic State jihadists and al-Qaeda are planning more mass-casualty attacks on the scale of the 9/11 hijackings. Last year terrorists threatened to bring down a US-bound plane flying out of Heathrow during Independence Day celebrations. Meanwhile, US court papers last year revealed an al-Qaeda leader personally trained a former McDonald s worker in bomb-making techniques to carry out a suicide attack in the arrivals hall at Heathrow instructing him to target passengers from the US and Israel.

The attack at Atat rk airport was also mentioned

And earlier this month MI5 s Director General Andrew Parker said the current terrorism threat was the worst in his 34-year career. He described it as multidimensional, evolving rapidly and operating at a scale and pace we have not seen before . Keeping Heathrow safe with four passenger terminals and one for cargo is a mighty task . More than 80 airlines fly 75 million passengers a year to 185 destinations in 84 countries.

A spokesman for the airport said: Heathrow s top priority is the safety and security of our passengers and colleagues.

“The UK and Heathrow have some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and we remain vigilant to evolving threats by updating our procedures on a daily basis.

We have reviewed all of our security plans and are confident that Heathrow remains secure.

Andrew Parker says the terror threat is the worst it’s been in his 34 year career

We have also launched an internal investigation to understand how this happened and are taking steps to prevent a similar occurrence in future.”

An alarming breach that could hurt the UK

By Chris Hughes, Defence editor

The implications for a trove of information on airport security falling into the wrong hands are extremely serious and terrifying. Islamic State is known to be pursuing a spectacular to match the 9/11 attacks. Codes, maps, routes used by royals and emergency procedures would be of huge, perhaps inestimable, value to a terror cell.

Crucially, investigators will want to know how and why someone was able to get the information on to a USB stick . And worse, get it out of their workplace then apparently lose it. It is deeply alarming . That it should happen at a time of such a heightened terror threat may show security procedures and controls are not as nailed down as we had all hoped.

But there is another profoundly alarming aspect to this . Repeated attempts to disrupt Britain s infrastructure have been made in recent years by North Korea, among others. This sort of information could be of great value to a hostile foreign intelligence agency .

It could be used to merely expose weaknesses, costing Britain a fortune to resolve.

Or for a more sinister result if open hostility grew towards the UK.

References

  1. ^ biggest airport (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ the Queen (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ cops (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ terror attacks (www.mirror.co.uk)

ISIS ‘plotting new 9/11’, warns US security chief Elaine Duke

A top US security chief has warned that Islamic State militants are planning another huge terror attack on the same scale as 9/11. The acting Secretary of Homeland Security in the United States, Elaine Duke, warned that recent attacks involving knives and vehicles were to keep followers of the terror group engaged. But she said that US intelligence suggested extremists are planning an attack involving a big explosion to cause maximum casualties.

She also said it was clear terrorists want to hijack planes to target civilians, mirroring the devastating attack in the US in 2001.

Ms Duke warned of the threat at an event in London (AFP/Getty Images)

The MailOnline reported that Ms Duke, speaking at an event at the US Embassy in London, said: The terrorist organisations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11 . They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that.

UK facing ‘worst terror threat in 34 years’ warns MI5 chief

1

However, in the interim they need to keep their finances flowing and they need to keep their visibility high and they need to keep their members engaged, so they are using small plots and they are happy to have small plots. Referring to a series of recent atrocities in which terrorists have attacked people using knives or vehicles, she said: Creating terror is their goal and so a van attack, a bladed weapon attack, causes terror and continues to disrupt the world but does not mean they ve given up on a major aviation plot.

Her warning comes after MI5 director general, Andrew Parker, said the UK faced its biggest terror threat yet.

Terror threat: Islamic state (AP)

The chief of the normally secretive organisation gave a speech warning that it was taking less time for terrorists to plan attacks as they could exploit safe spaces online to evade detection. And Ms Duke said the internet was providing the means for more home-grown terrorists in the US through the use of propaganda.

Lack of police helicopters could put lives at risk in terror attacks

2

She added that one of the biggest threats to the safety of aviation travel was the free movement of goods and people between countries.

What we believe is that because of the movement of goods and people, we have to raise the baseline worldwide, we can t only consider our borders, she said. She said US officials have strong measures in place to prevent another attack but added: Terrorists are strong, they are adaptable and the terrorist threat is the highest it has been since pre-9/11 .

We have got to have every tool that s possible.

Almost 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attack when planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

References

  1. ^ UK facing ‘worst terror threat in 34 years’ warns MI5 chief (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. ^ Lack of police helicopters could put lives at risk in terror attacks (www.standard.co.uk)