terror attack

French policeman killed, two others injured in Central Paris shooting claimed by the Islamic State

The suspect, who was known to intelligence services, was gunned down.

A French police officer was shot dead and at least two others were wounded in an attack in Central Paris on Thursday night, days before the first round of the country’s presidential elections. The assailant was shot dead in the strike, for which the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility, Reuters reported.

The attack took place in the historic boulevard of Champs-Élysées, a busy tourist area. “A little after 9 pm, a vehicle stopped alongside a parked police car. Immediately, a man got out and fired on the police vehicle, mortally wounding an officer,” Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet said. An eyewitness to the incident said he had heard six gunshots.

Authorities have identified the shooter as a 39-year-old French national known to intelligence services for a history of violent crimes. He is believed to have been under preliminary investigation for radicalisation, but was “let go” for lack of evidence, according to The Telegraph.

According to Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins, the shooter has been identified, but investigators were trying to ascertain whether he had acted alone. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for its shooting through its affiliated Amaq news agency. It identified the attacker as Abu Yousif al-Belgiki and said he was one of its fighters.

Earlier on Thursday, the police had issued an arrest warrant warning that a dangerous man had entered France from Belgium. But it is unclear whether this was the same suspect.

President Francois Hollande called the attack a “cowardly killing” and an act of terrorism and said the elections will be carried out with “utmost vigilance”.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.