Posts Tagged ‘airport’

UN chief calls for reopening of Yemen port, airport

August 27, 2017

AFP

© AFP | UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (C) arrives for a visit to Kuwait’s national assembly in Kuwait City on August 27, 2017
KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged warring parties in Yemen to allow humanitarian aid into the country amid a political stalemate that has seen violence spill into Sanaa.

“We are doing are best to create the conditions for the present stalemate to be overcome,” Guterres said after talks in Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts in crises across the region.

His comments come after tension between Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his ally Abdul Malik al-Huthi, who control the capital Sanaa, escalated into armed clashes that left two rebels and a pro-Saleh colonel dead late Saturday.

Since 2014, the Saleh-Huthi alliance has fought the UN-recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for control of the impoverished country.

Witnesses in the capital said the ex-president’s forces had spread in southern parts of the city near the presidential offices, which Saleh still holds despite resigning in 2012.

A Saudi-led coalition supporting the Hadi government imposed an air and sea blockade on all rebel-held territory in March 2015 and tightened it in August last year saying it was the only way to stop weapons smuggling.

Guterres said the UN was trying to facilitate the re-opening of the country’s main international airport in Sanaa as well as the Hodeida port, a key entry point for aid also in rebel-held territory.

“We will be working very closely with the (parties) to see when and how a new strong initiative will be possible,” he told a news conference.

More than 8,400 civilians have been killed and 47,800 wounded since the Arab coalition joined the war in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

Another 2,000 people have died of cholera in a deadly outbreak that has spread across Yemen since April.

Long the poorest country in the Arab world, millions of Yemeni now stand at the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.

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Stabbing of Police Officer at Michigan Airport Called Terrorism

June 22, 2017

FBI has charged Amor Ftouhi, a 49-year-old Canadian, after a police officer was stabbed in the neck at Bishop International Airport in Flint

A flare is set to block a lane into Bishop International Airport Wednesday in Flint, Michigan. The attacked officer is now in stable condition.

A flare is set to block a lane into Bishop International Airport Wednesday in Flint, Michigan. The attacked officer is now in stable condition. Photograph: Shannon Millard/AP

A police officer in Flint, Michigan, was stabbed in the neck at the city’s airport on Wednesday morning, in an attack US officials are describing as an “act of terrorism”.

FBI has charged Amor Ftouhi, a 49-year-old Canadian from Quebec, with causing violence at an international airport, special agent David Gelios told reporters on Wednesday evening.

The officer, Jeff Neville, was rushed to hospital and is now in stable condition.

The FBI said Ftouhi entered the US legally through a New York border crossing on 16 June. Days later he made his way to the Bishop International Airport. “He spent a little time in the restroom. Dropped both bags and came out, pulled out a knife, yelled ‘Allahu akbar’, and stabbed Lt Neville in the neck,” Gelios said. “He made a statement something to the effect of, ‘You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and we are all going to die.’”

The suspect, who had attacked the officer with a 12-inch serrated knife, was taken into custody shortly afterwards. There was little to suggest that the attack was part of a wider plot, said Gelios. “At this time, we view him as a lone wolf attacker.”

US attorney general Jeff Sessions said he had spoken to the FBI about the attack, which is being investigated as an act of terrorism. He was “proud of the swift response” by authorities of both nations, he said in a statement. “I want to assure all our law enforcement across the nation, any attack on someone who serves and protects our citizens will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Canada’s public safety minister Ralph Goodale issued a statement calling the incident a “heinous and cowardly act”. Canadian law enforcement agencies are in touch with their US counterparts and assisting them in every way possible, Goodale said.

Cherie Carpenter, a witness to the stabbing, told local news the male assailant appeared “blank, just totally blank” after he was arrested by local police.

Ftouhi reportedly lives in Montreal where he works for a large insurance company. On Wednesday afternoon, local media reported a large police presence outside an apartment believed to be connected to Ftouhi.

Read the rest:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/21/michigan-police-officer-stabbed-neck-flint-airport

Editorial from the Philippine: How Does a Lone Gunman Get Into a “Secure” Manila Hotel-Casino for a Rampage ? The nation is supposed to be on alert

June 3, 2017

EDITORIAL – Security breach

Toting an assault rifle and a handgun, a tall man who looked Caucasian and reportedly spoke English walked into the Resorts World hotel-casino complex from the basement parking late Thursday night. Eyewitnesses said he waved away people at the casino before pouring gasoline on a baccarat table and setting it on fire.

Shot and wounded by two Resorts World security guards, the gunman fled to the upper floors and entered a room on the fifth floor, where police said he covered himself with a blanket doused with gasoline before setting himself on fire. He died clutching his M4 Carbine, which police said he apparently also used to shoot himself. While the gunman didn’t shoot anyone, the fire he started emitted toxic fumes that suffocated scores of hotel guests and employees. As of last night, the death toll stood at 38 including the gunman.

The rampage happened while the entire Mindanao is under martial law to contain the Maute and Abu Sayyaf threat. President Duterte has even warned that martial law could be extended to the Visayas and Luzon. The nation is supposed to be on alert for a spillover of the violence, including diversionary attacks.

Despite IS claims that the gunman was a lone wolf inspired by the terrorist group, police have ruled out terrorism in the casino rampage. Still, security concerns can only be heightened by the fact that a man who looks like a foreigner can lug around an M4 Carbine and a .380 pistol and effortlessly enter a hotel-casino complex just across the road from the NAIA Terminal 3.

In the early hours yesterday, the casino rampage was being reported around the world as a terrorist attack near the Philippines’ main airport in Metro Manila. Even if it is established conclusively that the gunman was simply a robber or a sore loser in the casino, his attack inflicted nearly as much damage to the nation as an act of terrorism. Security officials clearly need to get their act together, starting with tighter enforcement of gun laws.

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/06/03/1706076/editorial-security-breach

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News

38 dead in casino rampage

Smoke rises from the Resorts World Manila complex in Pasay City early yesterday after a gunman set fire to gambling tables in the casino area, creating suffocating smoke that killed dozens of people. At left, relatives grieve as they receive news of the death of their loved ones. AP

PNP: No IS hand in Resorts World attack

MANILA, Philippines – Thirty-eight bodies were found inside a casino in Pasay City after a masked man burst in with an automatic rifle and set fire to a gaming room early yesterday.

Dozens of others were injured in a stampede as they rushed to leave Resorts World Manila after the man fired what police said was an M4 assault rifle and started the fire around midnight.

The burnt body of the gunman was found in a hotel room inside the complex about five hours later, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said the gunman only fired at a television screen and did not take aim at anyone.

Responding lawmen initially found 36 bodies in the casino, who they said died from inhaling smoke that had become toxic because of the carpet on the gaming room floors.

“The victims who suffered from suffocation went up to 36,” National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde told reporters.

“Practically, (the bodies were found) in the gaming area of casino. They were all recovered from the gaming area. None were found in the rooms,” he said.

Two more victims were later found in the second floor of the building  yesterday afternoon. One of the victims was buried by debris from a portion of the ceiling that fell, while the other was found in one of the rooms covered with a blanket.

The gunman initially disappeared into the chaos of smoke and running people, leading to a manhunt through the complex that ended just after dawn when he was found dead in Room 510, according to Dela Rosa.

“He lay down on the bed, covered himself with a thick blanket, apparently poured petrol on the blanket and burned himself,” Dela Rosa said.

Police said it appeared the suspect had killed himself after firing at officers searching the still-smoking building.

“Our assessment is he burned himself. He committed suicide,” Albayalde added.

Police said earlier the man’s motive was likely robbery and that the incident was not terror-related.

Security footage showed the gunman ignoring a guard who tried to question him at the complex’s entrance, then going straight to the casino. He stuffed a backpack with gambling chips, fired his assault rifle at TV screens and set gambling tables on fire by pouring gasoline from a two-liter bottle he carried.

It was not clear how he smuggled the gasoline and rifle into the crowded casino.

“We are looking into a robbery angle because he did not hurt any people and went straight to the casino chips storage room. He parked at the second floor and barged into the casino, shooting large TV screens and poured gasoline on a table, setting it on fire,” Dela Rosa said.

“He went crazy and ransacked the storage room,” he stressed.

Police described the gunman as tall with pale complexion and a mustache and spoke English.

The gunman, who was initially described as a foreigner, carried no identification documents. The bag of high-value gambling chips that he carried – with an estimated value of P113 million to P130 million – was later found in a toilet.

Terrorism fears

Before the gunman had been killed and police had confirmed possible motive, there were fears that the incident was a terror attack.

Albayalde and military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla downplayed the incident as a mere “police matter,” not a terror attack.

Albayalde and Padilla told a press briefing at Malacañang that they have not monitored any terror threat in Metro Manila.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella also downplayed insinuations of a terror attack.

“Initial findings of police investigation of the Resorts World incident… show that there are no indications of terrorist activity,” Abella said.

“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual. Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to harm or shoot anyone,” he said.

Abella also said the casino incident is not connected to the ongoing military campaign against the Islamic State-inspired Maute group in Marawi City.

Abella noted the gunman tried to grab millions worth of gambling chips before he died.

He said authorities are looking into the robbery angle.

“We really could not tell the motive of the perpetrator but apparently, he is mentally disturbed and as we can see, that’s why we could not relate it to… We cannot relate it to terrorism is because he did not shoot anybody,” Albayalde said.

“He just went inside, he burned the gaming tables … opened fire at the doorknob of the storage where the chips were kept and he stole P113 million worth of casino chips,” he added.

Albayalde said CCTV footage showed how the gunman entered the casino complex through the parking level and into the gaming area past midnight.

No lapses

The attack sent hundreds of people fleeing through the complex and out into the night. More than 70 people suffered mostly minor injuries in the stampede to escape.

Resorts World Manila chief operating officer Stephen Reilly said 22 guests and 13 employees initially died in the incident.

“It is with deep regrets that we confirm there were 35 casualties in this tragic incident, of which 13 are employees and 22 are guests,” Reilly read from a prepared statement.

Reilly said they are doing everything to extend assistance to the families of the victims.

“This is also a very difficult time for all of us here in Resorts World Manila. We consider our guests, patrons and our employees as family,” he said.

According to Reilly, the gunman initially figured in a firefight with casino security men. He said the gunman managed to escape though severely wounded, and was later found in a room where he had set himself ablaze.

Reilly stood firm that there were no security lapses on their part.

He said the security guards inside the complex were not provided firearms as a rule.

“We had an armed intruder who entered into the property. He fired his firearm. He was in combat attire. Security inside the premises do not carry firearms only on the outside of the premises,” Reilly said.

“They (security guards) did not engage because you’ve seen that it would escalate the situation. Unfortunately, the situation did escalate a bit further, moving towards gaming areas,” he added.

Reilly also maintained their fire safety measures “had worked as it should do.”

He pointed out the issue was not about the fire, but the thick smoke that engulfed the gaming section of the establishment and eventually killed their patrons.

“There is proper ventilation in the property. Unfortunately, I think a lot there was a degree of panic, which I understand when people hear gunshots they are going to hide for cover, evacuating the property quickly. They seek shelter and that is why they were overwhelmed by smoke,” Reilly said.

“Unfortunately, those victims suffer from smoke inhalation,” he added.

Resorts World officials led by Reilly read the names of the victims.

Among the fatalities were P Ling Hung Lee, Lai Wai Chung and Lai Yu Cheeh while the other 15 identified guests are Filipinos. They are Caccam Katherine Cervantes, Pacita Comquilla, Pomenciano Vargas Jr., Susan Abulencia, Jaime Gaboy Jr., Ariel Abrogar, Cliff Reyneira, Rolando Sison, Eluterio Reyes, Antonina Alanigue, Sheila Malicse, Carmelita de la Cruz, Mielle Oliveros, Pamela Silvestre and Elizabeth Gonzales.

Four of the victims remain unidentified, Reilly said.

He also identified 11 of the dead casino employees as Hazel Yangco, Jallah Ramos, Melvin Herrera, Arvi Gavino, BJ Pagsibigan, Rojie S Uy, Jessica Alindogan Merylle Gwen Ala, Lea Grace Mozo, Loudette Santos and Kay Nuguerra.

Reilly branded as speculation reports that the suspect was a previous guest at the casino who lost in gambling. He noted the police claim that the motive could have been simple robbery since the gunman tried to grab casino chips.

Reilly also hailed the police and security forces for immediately responding to the scene.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said the incident was an isolated case of random violence “and was caused by a foreign-looking man who appeared to be deranged.”

Pagcor said it will coordinate with operators of other casinos to ensure the safety of all guests and employees to prevent a similar incident from happening. – Christina Mendez, Robertzon Ramirez, Perseus Echeminada, Iris Gonzales, AFP, AP

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/03/1706184/38-dead-casino-rampage

Orly airport attacker ‘had been drinking, taking drugs’, autopsy reveals — “He never prayed, and he drank.”

March 20, 2017

AFP

© THOMAS SAMSON / AFP | Police officers investigate at the house of the suspect of an attack at the Paris Orly’s airport, on March 18, 2017, in Garges-les-Gonesse.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-03-20

The man shot dead at Paris’s Orly airport after attacking a soldier was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, a judicial source said Sunday.

Investigators are still trying to understand what motivated Saturday’s assault by 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, which led to a major security scare and the temporary closure of the capital’s second-busiest airport.

“Toxicology tests carried out on Sunday showed an alcohol level of 0.93 grams per litre in his blood, and the presence of cannabis and cocaine,” the source said.

Ben Belgacem’s father had insisted earlier Sunday that his son was “not a terrorist” and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs.

Ben Belgacem, who was born in France to Tunisian parents, grabbed a soldier on patrol at Orly’s southern terminal on Saturday morning. He put a gun to her head and seized her rifle, saying he wanted to “die for Allah”.

The attacker, who had also fired at police in a northern Paris suburb earlier that morning, was shot dead by two other soldiers after a scuffle.

Ben Belgacem’s father insisted his son — who had spent time in prison for armed robbery and drug-dealing — was not a extremist.

“My son was not a terrorist. He never prayed, and he drank,” the father, who was in shock and whose first name was not given, told Europe 1 radio.

Investigators were examining his telephone.

The attack at Orly comes with France still on high alert following a wave of jihadist attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives in two years.

The violence has made security a key issue in France’s two-round presidential election on April 23 and May 7.

Not on terror watchlist

Ben Belgacem’s brother and cousin were released Sunday after they, like the attacker’s father, were held for questioning. All three had approached police themselves on Saturday after the attack.

After spending Friday night in a bar with his cousin, Ben Belgacem was pulled over by police for speeding in the gritty northern Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, where he lived, just before 7:00 am.

He drew a gun and fired, slightly injuring one officer. Shortly after, he contacted his relatives to tell them he had “done something stupid”, they told police.

Ben Belgacem later appeared at the bar where he had been the previous night, firing more shots and stealing another car before continuing on to the airport.

He had been investigated in 2015 over suspicions he had radicalised while serving jail time, but his name did not feature on the list of those thought to pose a high risk.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Ben Belgacem appeared to have become caught up in a “sort of headlong flight that became more and more destructive”.

Dozens of flights to and from Orly were cancelled during an hours-long shutdown after the incident, but by Sunday afternoon air traffic had returned to normal, a spokeswoman for the Paris airports authority said.

The shooting took place on the second day of a visit to Paris by Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, which was unaffected.

‘I’ve screwed up’

Ben Belgacem’s father told Europe 1 his son had called him after the first police shooting “in a state of extreme agitation”.

“He said to me: ‘Daddy, please forgive me. I’ve screwed up with a police officer’.”

At the time of his death, Ben Belgacem was carrying a petrol can in his backpack, as well as 750 euros ($805) in cash, a copy of the Koran, a packet of cigarettes and a lighter.

A small amount of cocaine and a machete were found during a search of his home on Saturday.

Soldiers guarding key sites have been targeted in four attacks in the past two years but escaped with only minor injuries.

In mid-February, a machete-wielding Egyptian man attacked a soldier outside Paris’s Louvre museum, injuring him slightly, before being shot and wounded.

President Francois Hollande said Saturday his government was “determined to fight relentlessly against terrorism”.

(AFP)

Related:

Paris Attacker Shot At Police on Saturday Morning in Paris, Died In Orly Airport Shooting Hours Later — Radicalized Muslim known to intelligence services

March 18, 2017

PARIS — The man who was shot dead by soldiers at Orly airport on Saturday was the same individual who had shot at security services earlier in the morning in northern Paris and was a radicalized Muslim known to authorities, a police source said.

“A police road check took place in Stains (northern Paris) this morning at 0700. It turned bad and the individual shot at the officers before fleeing,” one police source said.

“This same man – a radicalized Muslim known to intelligence services and the justice system – then took a Famas (assault weapon) from a soldier at Orly’s southern terminal … before being shot dead by a soldier.”

A second police source said the two incidents were linked.

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Armed: Three gunmen who attacked the offices of controversial magazine Charlie Hebdo this morning remain on the run this afternoon, causing authorities to heighten security

Related:

Lockdown: The streets of Paris are being patrolled by soldiers dressed in combat fatigues and carrying Famas assault rifles this afternoon after a terror attack killed 12 people earlier in the day

Orly shooting: ‘radicalised Muslim’ killed at Paris airport had shot police officer

March 18, 2017

The Guardian

Police sources say man killed by soldier was earlier involved in incident north of French capital in which policeman was shot and injured

A man said to be a radicalised Muslim known to security services shot a police officer north of Paris before going to Orly airport, where he was shot and killed on Saturday morning.

The man was shot after he tried to grab a soldier’s weapon at the airport, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

“A man took a weapon from a soldier then hid in a shop in the airport before being shot dead by security forces,” he said.

The soldier was part of the Sentinel special force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Police sources said the same man was also involved in the incident at Stains, north of the French capital, in which a policeman was shot and injured during a road check.

No explosive devices were found on the dead man’s body, Brandet said.

© AFP | French special forces secure the area after a man was shot dead at Paris’ Orly airport, on March 18, 2017

Police evacuated both terminals at Orly and all flights have been suspended, with some diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport. Travellers have been told to avoid the airport while the security operation was under way. Some passengers whose flights had already landed were being held on board.

A witness, Franck Lecam, said: “We had queued up to check in for the Tel Aviv flight when we heard three or four shots nearby. We are all outside the airport, about 200 metres from the entrance.

“There are policemen, emergency workers and soldiers everywhere in all directions. A security official told us that it happened near gates 37-38 where Turkish Airlines flights were scheduled.”

No one else was injured in the Orly incident.

The French interior minister, Bruno Le Roux, is due to visit the airport, south of Paris, later.

The aiport shooting follows after a similar incident last month at the Louvre museum in central Paris.

France remains under a state of emergency in the wake of the attack on the Bataclan music venue in November 2015 in which 90 people were killed by jihadi gunmen, and the Nice truck attack last July that claimed the lives of 84 people and injured hundreds more.

Read the rest:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/18/man-shot-dead-at-paris-airport-after-trying-to-grab-gun-reports-say

Related:

Man shot dead at Paris Orly airport after taking soldier’s gun: official

March 18, 2017

AFP

© AFP | French special forces secure the area after a man was shot dead at Paris’ Orly airport, on March 18, 2017

PARIS (AFP) – Security forces at Paris’ Orly airport on Saturday shot dead a man who took a weapon from a soldier, the interior ministry said, adding that nobody else was hurt in the incident.Witnesses said the airport was evacuated following the shooting at around 8:30am (0730GMT).

“A man took a weapon from a soldier then hid in a shop in the airport before being shot dead by security forces,” an interior ministry spokesman told AFP.

He said no one was wounded in the incident.

Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux is due to visit the facility, which is in Paris’ southern outskirts, the spokesman added.

“We had queued up to check in for the Tel Aviv flight when we heard three or four shots nearby,” witness Franck Lecam said.

“The whole airport has been evacuated,” the 54-year-old said, confirming what an airport worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said earlier.

“We are all outside the airport, about 200 metres from the entrance,” Lecam said.

“There are policemen, emergency workers and soldiers everywhere in all directions. A security official told us that it happened near gates 37-38 where Turkish Airlines flights were scheduled.”

Related:

A picture taken on February 7, 2017 shows the wreckage of a burnt car in one of the main streets of the Cite des 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois

The wreckage of a burnt car in Aulnay-sous-Bois after angry French youths clashed with police over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest. CREDIT:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris has been evacuated after a huge security operation was launched this morning

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris was evacuated after a huge security operation was launched

ATTACK AT THE LOUVRE: Machete-wielding man shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ stopped by soldier, police say
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/03/shooting-at-louvre-french-soldier-reportedly-opens-fire-during-security-scare.html

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd and outdoor

 Paris — April 2016 — A protestor kicks a tear gas cannister as demonstrators clash with anti-riot police. Photograph by Joel Saget, AFP, Getty Images
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Image may contain: one or more people, sunglasses and outdoor
Soldiers protecting Notre Dame in Paris

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FRANCE COULD BE READY TO LIFT STATE OF EMERGENCY, SAYS JUSTICE MINISTER

France may be ready to drop its state of emergency, which has been in place since the deadly extremist attacks on Paris in November 2015.

In a speech Wednesday, Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas said: “We have created the conditions that make it possible to exit the state of emergency, without weakening ourselves or remaining helpless in the face of the threat of terrorism,” French daily newspaper Le Figaroreports.

The state of emergency has dramatically increased the number and visibility of armed law enforcement officials on patrol across the country and tightened the laws on public assembly.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, flower, plant, shoes, table and child

Its implementation proved controversial, with increased raids on Muslim communities in the immediate aftermath of the attacks attracting particular criticism from human rights groups.

Urvoas did not give any final date for returning to a lower state of alert, however it has to be approved on a bi-annual basis. The current extension ends in July – two months after France’s upcoming presidential election.

Paris Orly airport: Man killed after attempt to seize soldier’s gun — Hours after Minister of Justice proposes lifting “State of Emergency”

March 18, 2017

A man has been shot dead after trying to seize a gun from a soldier at Orly airport, French police say. Security officials have evacuated the building and urged visitors to avoid the area.

Image may contain: outdoor

French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the man ran into a shop inside the airport before he was shot dead on Saturday morning.

A bomb sweep was underway at the site to make sure the individual was not wearing an explosive belt, Brandet added.

The ministry also reported that a police officer was shot and injured in a separate incident north of Paris.

Emergency vehicles surrounded Orly airport as the elite RAID special police force secured the area.

Security officials evacuated part of the building and urged the public to keep clear while the police operation was underway.

[] On going police operation. Please respect the safety perimeter and avoid the airport area.

“We were waiting in line to board the flight to Tel Aviv when we heard three or four gunshots nearby,” witness Franck Lecam told AFP. “The whole airport was evacuated.”

A national police official said the soldier accosted by the slain man was part of the Sentinel special force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a series of deadly terror attacks.

The man’s motive wasn’t immediately clear. No one else was reported to have been harmed in the incident.

Minister of the Interior Bruno Le Roux was on his way to the airport, his office reported.

France remains under a state of emergency after several recent terror attacks. In November 2015 multiple terrorists killed 130 people in simultaneous attacks in Paris. In July 2016, an attacker drove a truck through crowds in Nice celebrating Bastille Day, killing 86 people.

Orly airport is south of Paris and is the French capital’s second-largest airport after Charles de Gaulle.

nm/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/paris-orly-airport-man-killed-after-attempt-to-seize-soldiers-gun/a-38006216

Related:

A picture taken on February 7, 2017 shows the wreckage of a burnt car in one of the main streets of the Cite des 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois

The wreckage of a burnt car in Aulnay-sous-Bois after angry French youths clashed with police over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest. CREDIT:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris has been evacuated after a huge security operation was launched this morning

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris was evacuated after a huge security operation was launched

ATTACK AT THE LOUVRE: Machete-wielding man shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ stopped by soldier, police say
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/03/shooting-at-louvre-french-soldier-reportedly-opens-fire-during-security-scare.html

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd and outdoor

 Paris — April 2016 — A protestor kicks a tear gas cannister as demonstrators clash with anti-riot police. Photograph by Joel Saget, AFP, Getty Images
.
Image may contain: one or more people, sunglasses and outdoor
Soldiers protecting Notre Dame in Paris

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FRANCE COULD BE READY TO LIFT STATE OF EMERGENCY, SAYS JUSTICE MINISTER

France may be ready to drop its state of emergency, which has been in place since the deadly extremist attacks on Paris in November 2015.

In a speech Wednesday, Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas said: “We have created the conditions that make it possible to exit the state of emergency, without weakening ourselves or remaining helpless in the face of the threat of terrorism,” French daily newspaper Le Figaroreports.

The state of emergency has dramatically increased the number and visibility of armed law enforcement officials on patrol across the country and tightened the laws on public assembly.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, flower, plant, shoes, table and child

Its implementation proved controversial, with increased raids on Muslim communities in the immediate aftermath of the attacks attracting particular criticism from human rights groups.

Urvoas did not give any final date for returning to a lower state of alert, however it has to be approved on a bi-annual basis. The current extension ends in July – two months after France’s upcoming presidential election.

Arrest of Islamic State-linked guard puts Malaysia airport security under spotlight — “A classic case of an insider threat”

February 13, 2017

13 Feb 2017 14:16

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s airport security has come under scrutiny following last month’s arrest of an airport security guard for suspected links to the Islamic State (IS).

He is believed to be the second airport personnel to be arrested by the Royal Malaysian Police in the past two years, a development counter-terrorism police and experts called a concern.

While initial investigations showed he was not planning any terror attack, he had plans to go to Syria to join IS, according to police.

SUSPECT HAD “FULL ACCESS … TO MALAYSIA AIRLINES AIRCRAFT”

The suspect was a security guard at Kuantan airport and had been responsible for Malaysia Airlines aircraft safety. “The suspect’s scope of duties… for the airline’s safety operations was anti-pilferage, anti-sabotage, anti-hijacking,” Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, deputy commissioner of the Royal Malaysia Police Special Branch’s counter-terrorism unit, told ChannelNewsAsia.

“He had full access to… Malaysia Airlines aircraft, including the cockpit, to carry out inspections.” He was also responsible for sealing and locking up aircraft parked overnight at the airport until they took off the next day, said Mr Ayob.

The suspect had worked at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Kuantan airport in Pahang since October 2015, according to police. Prior to that, he had worked for Malaysia Airlines from September 2004 to September 2015 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“It is dangerous to have someone turn radical who has access to an entire airport and its aircraft,” said Mr Ayob.

“You must remember that IS had called for those who are not able to travel to Syria to conduct attacks in their home countries,” he added.

Counter-terrorism expert Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna, who heads policy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies called the incident a “classic case of an insider threat” where airport security may be compromised by radicalized “insiders working within the system”.

“The Russian Metrojet crash in the Sinai desert in October 2015 claimed (by IS) is one example of how deadly insider threats can be,” Mr Kumar added. An aircraft mechanic was believed to have planted the bomb on the Russian Metrojet, killing 224 people on board.

Asked whether IS was targeting people who work in strategic places for recruitment, Mr Kumar said: “This is not the first time such insiders have been identified. In addition, as ISIS comes under strategic pressure in the Middle East, it has called upon its supporters worldwide to conduct lone wolf attacks wherever they are, and some of these lone wolves could well be self-radicalized insiders such as airport workers, commercial pilots and military personnel.”

In 2015, an auxiliary police officer at KLIA was arrested for helping his brother-in-law, an IS member, pass through immigration checks to go to Syria.

SECURITY SCREENING FOR AIRPORT EMPLOYEES

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), which operates KLIA, told ChannelNewsAsia its employees’ airport security passes are issued for only one year.

All employees are required to resubmit an application for an airport pass each year when the current one expires, said an MAHB spokesperson.

Applications for the airport passes are vetted by the Chief Government Security Office (CGSO), which is responsible for security over all government assets, said MAHB.

“MAHB works very closely with CGSO and PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police) in ensuring the security and safety of the airports,” said MAH’s spokesperson.

Malaysia Airlines told ChannelNewsAsia that newly recruited staff and key staff from selected departments undergo stringent background checks and recurrent checks conducted by the CGSO.

“We (also) require staff and vendors to attend security awareness briefings which is part of the Malaysia Airlines’ security programme, which includes subjects on… security processes and insider threats,” said Malaysia Airlines.

EMPLOYERS SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR SIGNS OF RADICALISATION

Associate Prof Kumar said screening of employees in sensitive jobs needed to be conducted more frequently.

“Screening… must be done more regularly, perhaps once every six months… as individuals can become radicalised after the initial screening process. This would entail additional time and resources but I believe we have little choice given how the threat has become more complex over time,” said Mr Kumar.

Mr Ayob also called for supervisors to pay greater attention to their staff to identify red flags and early signs of radicalization, especially for staff working in sensitive positions.

He said that supervisors should look out for red flags such as if an employee frequently fails to turn up for work without a good reason, or starts to distance him or herself from other staff.

Mr Ayob added that supervisors should also look out for early signs of radicalization. Radicalized individuals may express hatred towards those who do not share their views and spend long periods chatting on social media platforms such as Facebook and Telegram at the onset. They may also challenge authorities, promote violence or possess IS related symbols such as the IS flag, said Mr Ayob. IS supporters are also known to liquidate their assets to raise money to fund their passage to Syria.

“Supervisors tend to see this as a security issue to be handled by the police, hence such monitoring is currently lacking,” said Mr Ayob.

Malaysian police currently conducts security check on new applicants entering the civil service, military, police force, airlines and airport service.

“After the applicants get the job, their supervisors are responsible for monitoring them,” said Mr Ayob. He also suggested that employees working in critical places should have their smartphones checked.

“There is also a need to monitor senior employees. When they joined years ago, IS did not exist,” said Mr Ayob.

Suspect in Florida Airport Shooting Was Dogged by Past Troubles

January 9, 2017

Officials say mental illness is a possible factor; terrorism not ruled out as a motive

Esteban Santiago, the suspect in the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, lived at a home in Anchorage, Alaska. Police secured the scene there on Friday while agents worked inside the home.

Esteban Santiago, the suspect in the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, lived at a home in Anchorage, Alaska. Police secured the scene there on Friday while agents worked inside the home. PHOTO: MARC LESTER/ALASKA DISPATCH/ZUMA PRESS

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The teenager who joined the Puerto Rico National Guard in 2007 returned home in 2011 after a tour in Iraq as a disturbed young man, family members said.

Then in 2014, Esteban Santiago headed northwest for this snowbound city. He served in the Alaska National Guard, found a girlfriend and a job in security, and became a father.

Yet his troubles followed, and his new life here unraveled soon after it started. He fretted over a looming economic collapse, was prosecuted for domestic violence, and told federal officials in November he was tormented by voices in his head.

On Friday, Mr. Santiago, 26 years old, flew to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a gun and ammunition packed in his luggage, law-enforcement officials said. For reasons that are still unclear, authorities say, he allegedly shot into the crowds at the baggage claim area of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, killing five, wounding six and throwing the travel hub into chaos. The government filed charges against Mr. Santiago on Saturday. The potential penalties if he is convicted include life in prison or the death penalty, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Santiago, 26, allegedly opened fire on Friday at the airport in Florida, killing five and wounding six.

Mr. Santiago, 26, allegedly opened fire on Friday at the airport in Florida, killing five and wounding six. PHOTO: BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF

It was unclear on Sunday whether Mr. Santiago had legal representation yet.

Law-enforcement officials say they haven’t ruled out terrorism as a motive, and are also examining mental illness as a possible factor. Mr. Santiago told federal officials weeks before the shooting that the government was trying to control his mind, and forced him to watch terror propaganda videos, law-enforcement officials said.

“He was having terroristic thoughts and believed he was being influenced by” Islamic State, said Anchorage Police Chief Chris Tolley, in a news conference Saturday.

On Sunday, Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN “there may have been statements” from Mr. Santiago “he made after his arrest that he was in contact with people overseas.” Investigators “are still trying to figure out whether that’s true or whether this is just part of the delusions,” he added.

Mr. Santiago returned from Iraq a changed person, after serving as a combat engineer for 10 months, family members said.

Hernan Rivera, his 70-year-old uncle, said Mr. Santiago’s parents were advised by the military before his return from Iraq that they needed to take classes in Puerto Rico to prepare for his arrival. They were told that because of his mental state, they shouldn’t speak harshly to him or ask probing questions, he said.

A National Guard spokeswoman didn’t comment on Mr. Santiago’s specific case but said optional classes are offered that primarily address communicating with family members returning from deployment.

“He was totally isolated,” Mr. Rivera said. He often holed himself up in his room and only spoke when others engaged him in conversation.

Mr. Rivera said Mr. Santiago received some sort of psychiatric treatment when he returned to Puerto Rico, but he is uncertain what it entailed. “It didn’t help him in any way,” Mr. Rivera said.

In the military, Mr. Santiago worked as a combat engineer—an occupation that combines construction and combat skills on the battlefield—and spent time at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before deploying to Iraq from April 2010 to February 2011, according to Army records. During his service, he received a Commendation Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.

Mr. Santiago being transported by authorities to a jail in Broward County, Fla., on Saturday.

Mr. Santiago being transported by authorities to a jail in Broward County, Fla., on Saturday. PHOTO: JIM RASSOL/SUN-SENTINEL/ZUMA PRESS

Mr. Santiago arrived in Anchorage with his brother, his former landlord said, and moved into the Dimond Estates Trailer Park, an enormous neighborhood of trailers, some large and well-kept, others shabby. Mr. Santiago moved into a white-sided trailer with wood trim and a short flight of stairs leading up to a covered porch, where he lived with several roommates.

Mr. Santiago’s brother left Anchorage, but he stayed, said Victor Hurtado, his former landlord. The other tenants might cause trouble, but not Mr. Santiago, Mr. Hurtado said. He was polite, and paid the rent on time.

“I liked him,” Mr. Hurtado said, adding that he was shocked to hear his former tenant identified as the shooter. “You could trust him.”

Mr. Hurtado said Mr. Santiago rarely spoke about his time in Iraq. Mariela Hurtado, his wife, said Mr. Santiago only described it to her once as “ugly.”

Mr. Santiago served in the Alaska Army National Guard, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. He left the trailer park in December 2014, telling the Hurtados the military was paying for him to attend school, though it is unclear if he did.

He eventually moved into a home with his girlfriend in the city’s Fairview neighborhood, a dense mix of single-family homes and apartment buildings.

In January of last year, Mr. Santiago was charged with assaulting his girlfriend and property damage in a domestic violence incident, court records show. He was also found to be in violation of a stay-away order after his arrest, records show.

In March, he pleaded no contest to the charges, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and was put on probation for a year, Seneca Theno, the Anchorage municipal prosecutor, said in an interview Friday.

Anchorage police responded to three other physical disturbances involving Mr. Santiago last year, including a domestic violence disturbance, and an allegation of strangulation—but they didn’t make arrests in those cases, Anchorage Chief Tolley said at a Saturday press conference.

Police searched the Fairview home, as well as the Qupqugiaq Inn, a somewhat dilapidated Anchorage motel in connection with the investigation, they said Saturday—though it is unclear if Mr. Santiago lived at the inn. Police declined to give any details on the search, saying only that it was connected to their investigation.

For a time, Mr. Santiago worked as a security guard at Signal 88, a firm that patrols businesses and private residences. A Signal 88 representative said, “We are working with authorities and we have no comment.”

Mr. Santiago was known for showing up for work on time, covering shifts for co-workers, and dealing calmly with the drunks the security guards would have to roust from the properties, according to a former co-worker and friend.

“The Esteban I know was always calm and well-mannered,” said the former co-worker. “I never saw the man get angry.”

Even when drunk vagrants would yell obscenities at Mr. Santiago and call him a rent-a-cop he didn’t get riled up, he said.

Mr. Santiago liked to talk about investing in silver and bitcoin.

“He was obsessed with investing in silver,” said the former co-worker. “He even had a silver guy who he bought bars of silver from.”

Mr. Santiago tried to get his colleagues to invest in silver, too. “He thought the collapse of the economy was imminent,” the former co-worker said.

Mr. Santiago rarely mentioned his girlfriend or his new baby, the former co-worker said.

Mr. Santiago had multiple firearms, his former co-worker said, and usually carried a handgun.

Mr. Santiago didn’t talk frequently about his time in Iraq—but he didn’t avoid the subject, the former co-worker said.

On one occasion, Mr. Santiago showed his former co-worker some photos from the battlefield. They were pictures of blown-up corpses, and the aftermath of IED explosions, the former co-worker said.

“He wasn’t glorifying it,” the former co-worker said. “He was just making the point that he saw some crazy stuff.”

In August, Mr. Santiago received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard as a private first class for unsatisfactory performance, according to Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead, director of public affairs for the Alaska National Guard.

On Nov. 7, Mr. Santiago walked into the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Anchorage appearing agitated, federal officials said.

He had a loaded magazine on him, but he left his gun in his car, police said.

He told FBI agents that his mind “was being controlled by a U.S. intelligence agency,” said Marlin Ritzman, special agent in charge at the FBI’s Anchorage field office.

“During our investigation, we found no known ties to terrorism,” said Mr. Ritzman at a news conference Saturday. “He had broken no laws when he came into our office making disjointed comments about mind control.”

The FBI called local police, who confiscated his weapon and took him to a medical facility for a mental-health evaluation.

Mr. Santiago was admitted to a medical facility and later released, officials in Anchorage said. His brother, Bryan Santiago, told CNN in a Spanish-language interview that he was in the hospital for several days.

A month later, Mr. Santiago retrieved his weapon from Anchorage police. There was no federal law that prevented him from having a gun, authorities said.

Mr. Santiago lost his job after the incident, the former co-worker said.

On Friday, Mr. Santiago boarded a plane in Anchorage with a one-way ticket to Fort Lauderdale, authorities said.

“I just remember a normal nice regular guy,” his former co-worker said. “That I was blown the f— away was an understatement.”

Write to Zusha Elinson at zusha.elinson@wsj.com and Arian Campo-Flores at arian.campo-flores@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/suspect-in-florida-airport-shooting-was-dogged-by-past-troubles-1483926053

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