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Appeals court won’t allow suit against Palestinian Authority

A federal appeals court says the families of Jewish worshippers who were killed or wounded during a 2011 attack in the West Bank can’t sue the Palestinian Authority for damages in U.S. courts. The decision Friday upheld a lower court ruling to dismiss the case. The attack by a Palestinian security guard killed Ben-Yosef Livnat, an Israeli citizen, and wounded Americans Yitzhak Safra and Natan Safra. The worshippers had come to pray at a site known as Joseph’s Tomb without authorization.

The families sued under the federal Anti-terrorism Act, saying the shooting took place at the behest of the Palestinian Authority and was directed at the U.S.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said there was no evidence the attack targeted the U.S.

New video shows delay removing Theresa May from attack scene

Newly published video showing British Prime Minister Theresa May being rushed out of Parliament while an attack unfolded nearby seems to show some confusion and delays on the part of her security detail. On Friday, The Sun newspaper showcased the 73-second video, taken by a bystander in Parliament on Wednesday. May had been voting in Parliament when the attacker in a SUV ran over a number of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and rushed onto Parliament’s grounds, where he was shot dead after fatally stabbing a policeman.

In the video, there are times when May is seen standing exposed to possible sniper fire. At one point, she wanders off for a few moments without a security escort before she is ushered into her Jaguar sedan. Ken Wharfe, formerly a bodyguard to the late Princess Diana, said the video reveals flaws in the procedure used to evacuate May during a dangerous situation.

“There was confusion as to where the car was and who was getting in and no cover of Theresa May by the security guard,” he said. “When someone like that gets in the car, you cover their back.”

He said established procedures were not properly executed and that as a result May was exposed for 10 seconds when police didn’t know if there were more attackers on the grounds of Parliament or outside its perimeter.

“There’s always a risk at this point that there could be a sniper from outside,” he said. There was also some confusion inside Parliament at the start of the attack. At one point, according to Conservative lawmaker Nigel Evans, fellow legislator Michael Ellis ran into the House of Commons and said, “Has anyone seen the prime minister?”

Moments later, the prime minister was located, taken to her car and driven at high speed to her nearby residence at 10 Downing Street.

British officials, meanwhile, have praised the security operation despite the glitches. May told lawmakers Thursday if the attacker intended to get inside Parliament he failed to do so.

“We should be clear that he did not succeed,” she said, adding that police and the Cabinet Office are reviewing procedures.

Mark Rowley, Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief, said Friday that authorities have long tried to balance the desire for public access to Parliament against the need for safety. He admitted that changes may now be needed.

“My team will work with Parliamentary authorities to assess whether a different tone or a different balance is necessary,” he said.

London attack: Cabinet minister’s bodyguard shot Westminster terrorist

The terrorist who killed three people in Westminster[1] was finally stopped when he was shot dead by a Cabinet minister’s bodyguard, it emerged today, raising fresh questions about Parliament’s security arrangements.

The close protection officer – understood to be the bodyguard of Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon[2] – ran towards the knife-wielding attacker and shot him three times in the chest from short range. Sources told the Telegraph that he was sitting in Sir Michael’s official car, which was parked near to where the attack took place, and was first to react when he saw the terrorist stab Pc Keith Palmer[3]. Sir Michael is thought to have been voting in the Commons chamber at the time.

London Attack: Cabinet Minister's Bodyguard Shot Westminster Terrorist

Sir Michael Fallon Credit: PA

A separate source told the Telegraph that armed officers who were on duty at the Carriage Gates in New Palace Yard rushed towards the terrorist’s car, which had crashed into railings around the corner after mowing down pedestrians.

According to the source, that meant the nearest armed officer to the terrorist at the time he burst into New Palace Yard was the protection officer.

Westminster terror attack shooting in pictures[4]

Carriage Gates have been described as a “well known weak spot” because they are usually left unlocked and manned by two unarmed officers.

The terrorist in Wednesday’s attack was able to force his way through Carriage Gates, together with people who were running away from him.

As MPs gathered in the Commons to discuss the attack, warm tributes were paid to the policemen who keep MPs safe, and in particular Pc Palmer.

London Attack: Cabinet Minister's Bodyguard Shot Westminster Terrorist

PC Keith Palmer, and a floral tribute to him left near the spot where he fell

Speaker John Bercow said: “Let the security personnel who protect us – police, security officers and doorkeepers – be in no doubt whatsoever as to our profound appreciation of the way in which they discharged their duties yesterday, matched by other staff of the House.

“That means this morning the House has been able to resume its business undeterred.”

A spokesman for Mr Fallon refused to discuss whether the protection officer was assigned to him. The Metropolitan Police also declined to discuss it.

References

  1. ^ killed three people in Westminster (www.news4security.co.uk)
  2. ^ Sir Michael Fallon (www.news4security.co.uk)
  3. ^ Pc Keith Palmer (www.news4security.co.uk)
  4. ^ Westminster terror attack shooting in pictures (cf-particle-html.eip.news4security.co.uk)
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