Security/Emergency Information

Hostages in Paris kosher grocery

We mourn the victims of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher Supermarket terror attacks and pray for the recovery of the injured hostages and police. The hostages were taken –and some lost their lives –merely because they were Jews. The decisive actions of French authorities helped to mitigate these horrible situations and prevent the further loss of life and we pray that the second hostage-taker be quickly apprehended without any further loss of life or injury.

Most importantly, these attacks make us even more grateful to the NYPD and other local police, the FBI and state agencies (DHSES) and the US Department of Homeland Security. Since Wednesday, the NYPD has paid  special attention to Jewish institutions. The law enforcement world knows that the Jewish community is in the cross-hairs of the terrorists and they have done an exceptional job protecting us here in New York.

Updates:(1:59 PM) According to open source media, Said and Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly were killed following police seiges in France. The female suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, is still at large. The hostage being that was being held at the printing shop in Dammartin-en-Goele was released and is safe. At least four hostages were killed being held at the kosher supermarket in Paris.

(12:28 PM) According to open source media, Amedy Coulibaly, one of the suspects in the kosher market hostage situation, has also been killed during a police siege. The status of his companion, Hayat Boumeddiene, is unknown at this time. It is believed that at least four hostages have been killed, 4 wounded and 4 French police officers were wounded.

Comment: Abraham Foxman of the ADL observed:

“The attacks on Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher store are linked by the perpetrators’ ideology, not just their acquaintance. Islamic extremism is a common enemy of Jews and democratic states. That message needs to be heard and internalized by governments and mainstream society.

Anti-Semitism is at the core of Islamic extremist ideology, interwoven with its hatred of basic democratic freedoms, and continues to motivate adherents around the world. The packaging of anti-Semitic narratives has radicalized followers and influenced numerous international and domestic extremists with tragic results.”

Official summary: Gunfire has been reported at a store in Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris Friday. According to Agence France-Presse, an armed man has taken five hostages in a kosher grocery store. As of 0900 EST, open source media is reporting at least two people are dead and one injured.

Media are now reporting on the identity of the two individuals that are reportedly involved with the ongoing hostage situation at a Paris grocery store as Amedy Coulibaly, DOB 27 Feb 1982 (NUIN 5391291) and Hayat Boumeddiene 26 June 1988 (NUIN 5385979). A search of DHS holdings indicate both suspects have no connection/travel to the US. Hayat Boumeddiene is the first female to be associated with the attacks in France.

Media is linking these two suspects with the Kouachi brothers based on their social and criminal activity. Media is also claiming that Coulibaly is responsible for the fatal shooting of a French policewoman on 07 January, 2015. At this time however, we have seen no official connection between the incidents.

Implications for New York: There are no known, credible threats against New York or its Jewish community. Out of an abundance of caution, the NYPD is giving special attention to many Jewish institutions.

Recommendations:

  • Remember, one of the most important recommendations is to establish a close, working relationship with your local police authorities. They should know about your services, school schedules, special meetings, etc. Be in contact with the community affairs officer of your local precinct and let him/her know about the times of daily services and school arrival and dismissal times.
  • DHS just published: Potential Indicators, Common Vulnerabilities, and Protective Measures: Religious Facilities. This is an new (April 2014) and excellent overview of facility security and emergency planning. Ie used as the agenda for your security/building committee work to plan for the unexpected. There is also a good table with indicators of suspicious activity. Another new resource is Protective Measures for Enhanced Facility SecurityPlease review the documents and act accordingly. Protective-measures-cover
  • Law enforcement and Homeland Security leaders recommend that organizations train their staffs and constituencies in security awareness, especially the signs of suspicious behavior — i.e., it just doesn’t look right. If you see something, say something: in New York City-1 (888) NYC-SAFE or elsewhere in NY:
  • Click here for more information on active shooters and armed intruders.
  • Demonstrating an unusual interest in or unusual questions about security procedures, or engaging in overtly suspicious actions to provoke and observe responses by security or law enforcement officers;
  • Demonstrating an unusual interest in entry points, peak days and hours of operation, security personnel, surveillance assets (including cameras), and access controls such as alarms, barriers, doors, gates, or locks;
  • Demonstrating an unusual interest in security reaction drills or procedures;
  • multiple false alarms or fictitious emergency calls to same locations or similar venues;
  • Loitering, parking, or standing in the same area over multiple days with no reasonable explanation;
  • Unusual interest in speaking with building maintenance personnel or security guards;
  • Attention to or avoidance of surveillance cameras;
  • Interest without justification in obtaining site plans, ingress and egress routes, and information on employees or the public; and
  • Garments not appropriate for the weather or season without a reasonable explanation.
  • Suggested Protective Measures
    •  Increase visibility of armed security and law enforcement personnel in areas adjacent to and in front of security checkpoints to deter unwanted activity; 
    • Raise awareness among employees by conducting “all hazards” awareness training;
    • Establish liaison and regular communications with local, state, and federal law enforcement, emergency responders, and public health organizations to enhance information exchange or clarify emergency responses;
    • Report missing or stolen equipment, to include weapons, to the proper authorities; 
    • Raise community awareness of potential threats and vulnerabilities; and
    • Encourage employees, tenants, and visitors to report anything that appears to be odd or suspicious.
  •  If you have any questions you can contact JCRC-NY here.
Alerts and information about security and emergency preparedness for Jewish organizations.
View all Security/Emergency Information posts