Top secret security plans for Olympics were not in bag stolen aboard a train, insists Paris prosecutor’s office… as probe finds lost computer gear contained only traffic information

  • French broadcaster BFMTV reported security plans were stolen in Paris
  • It came after theft of a bag containing a computer and USB keys on a train
  • One of the encrypted USB keys stored security plans relating to roads and traffic

Paris City Hall said Wednesday that no policing plans for the upcoming Olympic Games were lost in the theft of computer gear reported by one of its employees.

A City Hall statement said: ‘Initial checks established that the worker didn’t possess any information relating to the organisation and deployment of law enforcement during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.’

French broadcaster BFMTV first reported Tuesday evening that a computer and USB keys containing Olympic Games security plans for Paris City Hall were stolen aboard a train at the French capital’s Gare du Nord station.

BFM said one of the USB keys was encrypted and stored security plans relating to roads and traffic for the event.

In a city repeatedly hit by deadly extremist attacks, security is the biggest challenge for Paris Games organisers.

Security is the biggest challenge facing the organisers of the Paris Games this summer

Paris was the target of deadly terrorist attacks by Islamic State militants in 2015

Paris was the target of deadly terrorist attacks by Islamic State militants in 2015

The Paris prosecutor’s office on Wednesday described media coverage of the theft as ‘hasty.’ It said a City Hall engineer had lost a bag at Gare du Nord on Monday and reported that it contained a USB key used for work.

‘However, it is important to specify that this key only contained notes related to traffic in Paris during the Olympic Games, and not on sensitive security plans,’ the prosecutor’s office said.

City Hall’s statement said the worker’s computer gear ‘contained notes for internal use,’ concerning the employee’s IT-related work for the Paris traffic department.

It said an investigation is underway into the ‘proven breaches of internal security procedures’ and that depending on its findings, ‘sanctions will be taken.’

The Paris Olympics will be held from July 26 to August 11.

Some 30,000 members of the police force are expected to be mobilised every day during the Olympics, with about 300,000 spectators expected to attend the opening ceremony along the River Seine.

Paris was the target of terrorist attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants in 2015. 

The shootings and bombings left 130 dead and 350 wounded – the worst peacetime atrocity in decades.

The gunmen who stormed a rock concert at the Bataclan theatre killed 90 people, opening fire on fans packed in to hear the band Eagles of Death Metal.

Three groups of Islamist extremists launched co-ordinated attacks on the Stade de France stadium and popular venues in central Paris in 2015.