Paris attacks

Most of the media focus on the attacks in Paris on Friday evening.

The Telegraph gives a round-up of ‘everything we know so far on Sunday morning’.

At least 129 people have been killed in seven separate attacks across Paris, including 89 during a hostage situation at Bataclan, a music venue

There have been seven apparently coordinated terror attacks in Paris carried out by at least eight militants, all wearing suicide vests. At least 129 people are feared to have been killed and 352 are injured.

The first attacks were launched virtually simultaneously, at just after 9.20pm local time, four miles apart.

First, two explosions close to the Stade de France were heard 10 minutes apart inside the stadium, where Francois Hollande was watching France and Germany play an international friendly.

The first explosion, a suicide bombing, was at an entrance to the stadium. Last night a guard identified as Zouheir (his first name) told a newspaper that an explosives vest was found on the attacker as he was frisked trying to enter with a ticket.

While trying to back away from security officers the militant detonated his vest, the guard said. A second terrorist is believed to have blown himself up around three minutes later.

The explosions came as a large crowd were enjoying the first half of the international friendly.

In the event, the effect of the blasts at the stadium was limited, apparently killing one person in addition to the suicide bombers.

But as chaos began to unfold outside the stadium, Mr Hollande was quickly evacuated by his security team as the match continued.

The Mail claims French security forces missed clues to the forthcoming atrocity.

Vital clues were missed that could have averted the Paris atrocities, it was feared last night as it was revealed that:

A heavily armed suspect was stopped on his way to the French capital more than a week ago but German police who uncovered an arsenal of weapons in his car did not tell anti-terror chiefs.

At least one of the terrorists was a Parisian who had been on a terror watch list for five years, but was not being monitored closely enough to be stopped before he took part in the murderous attack.

Greek authorities believe that two of the gunmen sneaked into Europe posing as a refugee from Syria – heightening fears that not enough security checks are being carried out on migrants.

As details of the killers’ identities began to emerge yesterday, Corinne Narassiguin, spokeswoman for France’s ruling Socialist Party, admitted: ‘Obviously there was a failure of intelligence.’

She said the French government had recently voted through new measures to improve surveillance of terror suspects, with 2,000 new posts being created, but added: ‘Unfortunately all these measures are not yet fully operational.’

French intelligence and security services had been reorganised in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacres, which left 16 dead in January. It emerged that the brothers behind the killings, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were well known to the authorities and were being watched – but surveillance was called off just six months before they launched their attack.

The Independent reports Prime Minister  David Cameron’s warning that a terrorist attack on UK is ‘highly likely’.

David Cameron placed the UK on high alert for a terror attack, as holidaymakers in Paris were told to “stay indoors” and security checks were ramped up at British airports and ferry terminals.

The Prime Minister said the scale of the atrocity in France revealed “a greater ambition for mass-casualty attacks” on the West, and warned that an attempt to bring terror to the UK was “highly likely”.

Mr Cameron said the public should be “alert but not alarmed” and vowed to “wipe out” the so-called Islamic State (Isis) and its ideology.

It comes as the PM prepares to hold crunch talks on the growing terror threat with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, at the G20 summit in Turkey on 16 November.

Downing Street said the meeting would be the first time the pair had met for face-to-face discussions in more than a year and provided an opportunity for a “hard-headed engagement” over the threat posed by IS.

Sources close to the PM insisted there was no change in the Government’s position on air strikes in Syria – which have been ruled out until “political consensus” can be reached – and said his immediate focus was on checking for British casualties and reviewing security in the light of the attacks in France.

The scale of the terrorist threat to Britain was underlined after Downing Street took the rare step of briefing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee early on 14 November.

The Telegraph claims that special forces are already on our streets amid fears Britain could be next target for Isil.

Britain launched the largest security response since 7/7 last night as counter terrorism sources revealed up to 450 radicalised Britons have returned to the UK from Syria.

Special forces were deployed on the streets to monitor stations, shopping centres and key public places amid fears the UK could be the next target for an Isil terror outrage.

Personnel from the elite Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) were backing up undercover armed police officers to protect the UK in the wake of the Paris massacre.

It can also be disclosed that Scotland Yard is currently investigating 600 terror cases related to Syria and Iraq.

Charles Farr, director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, said that Isil, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, was inspiring people in Britain who “couldn’t go” to its territories in Syria or Iraq to stay and “undertake attacks.”

He said that “about 750 [British citizens] of interest to the security and intelligence services” had travelled to Syria, of whom “about 60 per cent have returned.” He also said that up to 70 Britons had been killed.

The new figure, given on the eve of the Paris attacks and revealed for the first time by The Sunday Telegraph, is a dramatic rise from previous estimates which have put the figure at around 350.

Mr Farr said that that the Isis ideology and call was either to go and “join the so called Islamic State” or stay and “undertake attacks if you couldn’t go”.

 

The Daily Star claims the terrorist group has warned that Britain is next.

Supporters of the evil terror organisation made the chilling threats online after at least 128 people were killed in Paris, France last night.

Today David Cameron will chair a Cobra meeting where top politicans and security officials will be discuss raising Britain’s terror threat to its highest possible level.

If raised to “critical” it would be the first time since June 2007 – after a car loaded with propane canisters was driven into a crowded Glasgow Airport – that the threat to the UK has been so high.

This morning President Hollande confirmed the atrocities in Paris were carried out by ISIS – describing the attacks as an “act of war”.

The news comes as at approximately 10am the north terminal of Gatwick Airport was evacuatedwith many fearing ISIS had been true to their word and struck in Britain.

The twisted tweeters also claimed to have two other major capitals in their sights – Washington DC and Rome.

Cops have raced to high-profile locations in Washington DC – including the US government’s Capitol complex – amid fears of another 9/11.

But a spokeswoman insisted: “There is currently no known threat to the Capitol complex.”

London was last hit by a terror attack in July 2005 when 52 commuters were killed by fanatics linked to al-Qaida.

But officials have reportedly been working non-stop to thwart ISIS attacks since the militants declared a caliphate last summer.

And Sky News reports that an urgent review of UK security will be held following the Paris attacks.

Scotland Yard is to urgently review its tactics for responding to a Paris-style terrorist assault in the aftermath of the attacks in the French capital.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the scale of the events in France and the weaponry used are a “serious cause for concern”.

The police presence at UK ports and major events is being stepped up in the wake of events across the Channel.

Sir Bernard said: “We have developed appropriate tactics to deal with a firearms attack in London, but we will, of course, urgently review our approach in the light of last night’s act of terrorism in Paris.

“The scale of the attacks and the range of weaponry used by the terrorists are a serious cause for concern.

“But the public can be reassured that our firearms officers are trained to deal with this kind of incident and we are constantly evolving new ways to combat the threats to public safety.”

The Met carried out an exercise to test its response to such an incident in July.

 

In London, Home Secretary Theresa May will chair a meeting of the country’s emergency committee, says the BBC.

Home Secretary Theresa May will chair a Cobra meeting later to discuss the UK government’s response to the attacks in Paris.

Britain’s terror threat level is “severe”, but Prime Minister David Cameron said it would reviewed.

Police said there would be strengthened policing at UK ports, and more officers at public events in the coming days.

It comes as Briton Nick Alexander was named as among the 129 people killed in Friday’s attacks.

He died in the attack at the Bataclan concert hall, where he is thought to have been selling merchandise.

His family described him as “generous, funny and fiercely loyal”.

A government source said there were fears a “handful” of other British people had been killed. An unspecified number are being treated in hospitals.

The Bataclan concert hall suffered the deadliest attack during the wave of violence in Paris, which involved gunmen and suicide bombers. More than 80 people are believed to have died at the concert hall.

The US band Eagles of Death Metal were playing a gig when attackers burst into the venue and opened fire, but the band themselves survived unscathed.

 

And the Express reports that a backlash has started in France.

CROWDS of extreme right-wing protesters have disturbed a solidarity march in France as news breaks that at least one of the terrorists responsible for the slaughters in Paris was a Syrian refugee.

A peaceful demonstration taking place in the centre of Lille, northern France, was interrupted by right-wingers appearing to belong to the Front National.

The unrest came as Front National leader Marine Le Pen declared French people “are no longer safe” and called for France to take back control of its borders.

Many people have taken to the streets across France today to show their solidarity with Paris despite the French government banning demonstrations from taking place for security reasons.

The protesters, armed with flares and with banners reading: “Throw out Islamists” pushed their way through the peaceful crowd and started chanting “Out the Muslims”.

Protesters hurled Islamophobic chants as police surrounded the tense scenes.

Demonstrators, taking part in the act of solidarity organised by Human Rights League, lashed back at the group of right-wingers, shouting: “Get out Fascists”.

Banners of peaceful protesters read: “We are not afraid”, “Pray for Paris” and “Je suis Paris” in homage to the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January.

Mourning Parisians have laid flowers and candles at the six locations where the gruesome attacks took place.

Referendum

In other news, the Independent claims Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to join Labour’s campaign to keep Britain in European Union.

Jeremy Corbyn has fallen into line with Labour MPs by agreeing to join the party’s campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union.

The Labour leader, who voted for the UK to leave the then European Economic Community in 1975, had warned he could back British exit if the Prime Minister watered down EU-wide workers’ rights.

However, the Prime Minister appears to have rejected calls from Conservative backbenchers to try to secure an opt-out from European employment law.

A pro-EU Labour group, led by the former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, is set to launch on 17 November. It is backed by 213 of Labour’s 231 MPs – including every member of the Shadow Cabinet.

The group is committed to campaigning for Britain to stay in the European Union no matter what Mr Cameron achieves as part of his re-negotiation.

Speaking to The Independent on Sunday, Mr Corbyn insisted he was “proud” to support Labour’s Britain In Europe campaign.

He added: “Labour has campaigned to make sure our place in Europe has led to better protection and rights in the workplace, and we will continue to fight for jobs and security for all the British people.”

Treasury savings

The Independent reports that recycling, turning off lights and mending office furniture is netting the Treasury millions of pounds a week.

The treasury has saved millions by reducing Whitehall’s carbon footprint.

Forcing civil servants to recycle, turn off lights and make do with and mend old office furniture is netting the Treasury millions of pounds a week in savings, a government report has revealed.

In a bid to cut energy bills and go green, Whitehall departments in 2010 were ordered to dramatically reduce waste as part of a wider target to reduce the Government’s carbon footprint by 25 per cent.

Under the five-year plan, enforced by Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin, civil service mandarins were told to slash the number of domestic flights, install eco-friendly boilers and fix leaky office toilets.

A Cabinet Office report, seen by The Independent on Sunday, reveals that the “common sense” measures have seen massive reductions in the use of water, energy and paper, helping to slash greenhouse gas emissions and save £185m a year – or more than £500,000 a day compared with 2009-10.

Overall, government departments have reduced:

* Greenhouse gas emissions by 22 per cent

* Waste by 22 per cent

* Paper use by 38 per cent

* Water consumption by 11 per cent

* Domestic flights by 18 per cent.

David Cameron told The IoS that the Government would now set new targets to make even further energy savings.

“We have made good progress over the last five years cutting the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on everything from flights and paper, to waste and water,” he said. “We’ve reduced the damaging impact of greenhouse gases too.

“But we still need to tackle the deficit Labour left behind, so we must redouble our efforts to reduce waste, tackle climate change and deliver further savings to taxpayers over the next five years.”

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