Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

The UK Olympic Security Challenges


The UK Olympic  Security Challenges

In 11 March 2011, government announced the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Safety and Security Strategy which guarantees delivering a secure game. This strategy, which focuses on five areas; protect, prepare, identify and disrupt, command, plan and resource and engage, will be dealt under the principles of Britain's Counter Terrorism Strategy, coordinated with Policing Strategy for Olympic Games and the Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations (ACSO).

The issue of Britain's National Security has been dominant factor in the recent debates on the Olympic security arrangements that raised many questions about the cost and massive deployment of army and police personnel in London. These debates also led to the commissioning of a number of studies in government and private research institutions to help the government in designing a better security plan for the Olympic Game.

British army has also prepared its own security plan involving the deployment of Royal Navy's largest ship, 22,500 tone helicopter carriers HMS Ocean in Greenwich for the duration of the game, assault vessel Bulwark in Weymouth where the sailing events will take place. Moreover, ground to-air missiles will be deployed and this would be the first time such deployment is taking place.
All these security measures would be police-led but army will make sure its contribution.

According to the Ministry of Defense, some 5,000 troops will support the police, up to 7,500 will provide venue security and 1,000 will provide logistic support. The UK police will also deploy more than 12,000 officers with the operation being planned on the basis that security threat level will be set at severe.

According to the recent report of Intelligence and Security Committee, Chief of MI5, Jonathan Evan called the Olympic Game as huge event and said: "We are going to be pulling at least 150 intelligence staff out of other roles across the services to put them back into intelligence work at the frontline." Security Service Chief understands that terror attacks of more than 200 suicide bombers cannot be prevented and their most likely target might be the upcoming Olympic Games in July 2012.

Security Service believes that the UK based extremists groups are planning to develop new ways for all new counter measures. In such a large sporting event, the threat of terror attack cannot be ruled out because maintaining the security of 8 million spectators will be a difficult task.

Government and law enforcement agencies are increasingly concerned about the possible cyber attack from extremist groups, foreign hackers and intelligence networks with malicious intent, such as terrorism and act of disruption. Chief of GCHQ has recently warned about the cyber threat to the UK security and said the country economic security is under threat. Mr. Loban warned that the country is witnessing the development of criminal market place, where cyber dollars are traded in exchange for citizen's credit cards details.

In present global marketplace, Internet is no longer just about e-mail and website. This machine empowers the growing list of revenue-generating e-business activities. In near future, cyber terrorism and economic jihad will ultimately target all Britain state institutions as it has been a driving force behind the modernization of Russia, China and Indian economy and military industry.

Cyber wars in near future are possibly to be based on strategic and tactical digital thrusts and defenses across geographical boundaries, where assets are taken electronically, are remotely controlled or destroyed by compromising their digital brains.

Recent report of the NBC News revealed that the London Olympic Technology Operation Centre might rely on 9,500 computers and more than 1,000 to run the security infrastructure including communication channel and transport networks.

According to the Director research Control Risk Group, Jake Stratton, "London has become the pre-eminent terrorist target in Europe because extremists' threat in the past had been vague and undefined war against the West" Extremists in the United Kingdom may likely to adopt deadly tactics next year as internal security threat is being developed in a dangerous way by these groups who conduct non-lethal training here.

Terrorists may use computer not only to inflict damage in security infrastructure but to disrupt the whole communication system. As these groups have frequently stated that they will launch a large scale attacks, there is more possibility that these attacks will be carried out by their trained members.

They will try to create panic and fear by using IED specifically, peroxide and fertilizer as they have already used in Norway in July 2011. According to intelligence reports, these non-state actors have acquired advanced technology and recruit young people in their small cells where they use Internet and other communication means. Intelligence reports in Russia revealed that extremist forces can export radio –nuclear materials or dirty bombs. If they succeeded in their plans, there will be massive destruction in London.

The risk of violent attacks and disruption is possible because every big sport game represents a new target for terrorist attack. The main challenge will be the infinite number of soft targets to secure, but this can be a difficult job. Every successive government is struggling to confine extremist elements to their nests and keep the Counter Terrorism Strategy to the four work streams (pursue, prevent, protect, prepare). Police pursue to stop terror attacks but failed to prevent people becoming terrorists or extremists.

The failure of their strategies resulted in the countrywide riots in August 20011. According to recent research reports, following a peaceful march in relation to the police response to the killing of a black guy, Mark Duggan by Metropolitan police service firearm unit, a riot began in North of London. Police in their turn, arrested and produced 1,984 people before the courts. Among the arrested people in London, some 24 percent were under age while four percent were over 40. Ethnically speaking, among the arrested people, 42 percent were white, 46 percent Black and 7 percent were Asian.

The writer is author of Civil War and the Partition of Afghanistan and Punjabi Taliban can be reached at: zai.musakhan222@gmail.com.

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