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Case Study


Forty years after the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, how will the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games be protected from security threats?

The event

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place from the end of July until the middle of September, over a 64 day period in 1000 venues (including the associated cultural event venues). More than 10 million tickets have been sold for the events.

Sources of threat Terrorism, serious and organised crime, petty crime and public order offences. The terrorist threat includes Islamist Extremism, such as al-Qaeda and affiliated groups and individuals, and dissident Irish Republican militants. The Olympic Games are seen by terrorists as a prime target, due to the international high profile of the event, the number of countries, athletes, visitors and dignitaries involved and the nature of the event itself, to celebrate world unity through sport. The Games have been attacked in the past. In 1972 Palestinian terrorist group Black September took members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage after breaking into their accommodation in the Olympic Village. 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer were killed. In 1996, right wing extremist Eric Robert Rudolph bombed the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, US, after smuggling in pipe and nail bombs into the venue.


Security and Counter-terrorist measures

The Home Secretary has overall responsibility for the security of the Games. The Home Office will work with the police service, Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOGOC) in order to ensure a safe and secure event. LOGOC are the event organisers, responsible for staging the events. Their role includes the safety and security of the venues. Private security guards working for LOGOC will manage search and entry to the venues. At venues including the Olympic Park there will be bag searches, X-ray screening machines, metal detectors and CCTV. The police at venues will be backed up by security guards, stewards, volunteers and the emergency services. The Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for building the venues and the Olympic Route Network, were responsible for ensuring security at the venues during their construction phase. The International Olympic Committee has been meeting police and security officials during their regular assessments.

Security plans reflect the latest intelligence reports and risk assessments and plans are based on the current threat level to the UK from terrorism. Plans for the security operation began when London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, in July 2005 (ironically one day before the 7th July London bombings). Around 300 MI5 (the UK Security Service) officers

CounterTerrorGazette 13

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