Les Carpenter of the Washington Post delivers a comprehensive, interactive story on challenges facing security officials in charge of the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Organizers of the Paris Olympics plan to host the opening ceremonies and long-range swimming events on the Seine river. Carpenter writes that it is an audacious and risky plan given the open environment and France is no stranger to terrorist attacks. We’ve included an excerpt below:
“In November 2015, militant extremist groups staged a series of attacks, including suicide bombings just outside what will be the main Paris Olympic stadium, the Stade de France, during a French national soccer team match and a mass shooting at a concert at the Bataclan theater. In all, 130 people were killed, and more than 400 others injured.
Former U.S. Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff believes France is “quite skilled in intelligence and police service,” but he nonetheless sees worries everywhere.
“If you look at what’s going on around the world now, you’d be hard-pressed to feel complacent,” says Chertoff, now the executive chairman of his own security company, the Chertoff Group. “I think a shooter is always a risk. A bomb is always a risk.
“Drones are a relatively new problem. It might be [that] one of the things you need to do is restrict the ability of drones to fly over the airspace you’re dealing with and then have a rule that if a drone does enter that airspace, it gets destroyed. So, I mean, I do think you’re going to have to adapt or plan for the possibility of some kind of drone attack.”
France’s National Assembly also has approved the use of limited artificial intelligence to monitor crowds and identify threats. Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet says the Games and French officials are “committed” to “a very strong security process like never before in our country,” during the Olympics, pointing out that Paris routinely has New Year’s and Bastille Day celebrations with hundreds of thousands of people.”
We encourage you to read the full story with photos and maps in the Post.