Security Top of Mind for French Officials Ahead of Upcoming Olympics

Paris Olympics Security
May 15, 2024

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Concentric’s corporate intelligence analysts are closely monitoring security preparations ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and are ready to support you and your business as you plan travel and business ventures for the upcoming Games. The risk of a high-profile security incident, ongoing protests, and tensions with Russia have the potential to challenge security officials charged with protecting the Games and the hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. As you look to navigate these concerns, let Concentric’s team of experienced security professionals help. 

Ongoing Security Challenges 

Security remains a priority for French and international officials ahead of the Olympics, particularly as France raised its terror alert to the highest level following the Islamic State Khorasan Province’s attack in Moscow on March 22. Demonstrators have also descended upon Paris in recent weeks to express their discontent with wage hikes and Israel’s war in Gaza, worrying Olympics organizers about protests continuing during the Games. Ukrainian sports ministry officials have also expressed concern about the treatment of Ukrainian athletes, particularly among Russian and Belarusian athletes.

  • Security Threats: A pro-Islamic State media channel in April reached out to its supporters in France and across Europe to threaten European sporting events. French officials are taking the threat seriously and have stepped up security across Paris, particularly near railway stations and near stadiums.
    • In mid-April, French President Emmanuel Macron said France has backup plans to move the opening ceremonies–the first to be held outside of a stadium, along the Seine River–if there is a serious risk of a terrorist attack. Speaking during a television interview he said, “There are plans B and C and we are preparing them in parallel.” He also said a security perimeter would be established up to eight days before the opening ceremony.
      • French officials pledged to deploy an additional 4,000 troops nationwide over security concerns in the run-up to the Olympic Games. Up to 30,000 police and gendarmes are expected to be on duty every day during the Games, supported by 20,000 private security staff, according to Macron. 
  • Protests: On May 1, demonstrators rallied in Paris over workers rights and wage increases, as well as support for the Palestinians in Gaza, and with some calling to extinguish the Olympics flame. Some protesters burned Olympic rings while calling on the French government to stop putting the Games ahead of local interests. 
  • Approximately 300 Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered near the Paris Olympics organizers’ headquarters on April 30 and called for limiting Israel’s participation in the Games.
  • Ukraine and Russian Threat: Tensions between Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian athletes are also possible during the Games. Ukraine’s sports ministry and national Olympic committee at the end of April released recommendations to “protect Ukrainian athletes from provocative situations and to promote the safety of the representatives of the official delegation of the national team of Ukraine to the Paris Games.” President Macron backed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow Russian athletes to compete in the Olympics despite the Ukraine invasion, but under a neutral flag.
    • The recommendations for Ukrainian athletes include avoiding contact with Russian and Belarusian athletes during awards ceremonies and at the athlete village. The Ukrainian athletes are also to refrain from participating in press conferences, interviews, photos, or social media with Russian and Belarusian athletes present. 
    • President Macron is taking a tough line with his Russian counterparts, warning Russia presents a “risk” to the Olympics. Russian-linked cyber attackers have responded by pursuing an aggressive cyber campaign designed to discredit France, according to open source reporting. Cyber criminals, likely backed by the Kremlin, recently launched a fake, copy-cat version of the French defense ministry website, urging French citizens to “get involved” in Ukraine. 

How Can Concentric Help? 

Concentric’s team of intelligence analysts and security professionals are closely monitoring the upcoming Olympics and tracking ongoing developments. Our team of experts is ready to assist you with any of your security needs. 

  • Intelligence Support: Our team of dedicated analysts can author periodic updates and travel risk assessments to help you plan for, and monitor any developments during your travel for the Games.
  • Security Operations: Executive protection agents can protect you, your business operations, and important events in Paris and the surrounding areas during the Olympics. We can also provide evacuation assistance if it becomes necessary. 
  • Cyber Protection. Eclipse by Concentric™ can remove unwanted personal identifiable information from tracking websites which can be used to target you, your family, and your staff, including as you plan upcoming business and travel ventures in Paris.

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