SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The day after London was chosen as the 2012 Olympics host, 52 people were killed in bomb attacks on three subway stations and a bus, but with the Olympic security map now exposed the question remains whether London seriously intends its full army of personnel and military hardware to secure the Games or a show is in the making.
A list of forces and equipment on the ground and in the air is as follows: the Navy’s HMS Bulwark and the force’s largest warship HMS Ocean, Typhoon fighter jets, Apache Helicopters, E-3 Sentinel spy planes, type 101 radars, Rapier missile and radar systems, Star Streak missiles, eagle-eyed surveillance drones, Long-range acoustic device (LRAD) for ear-piercing targeted sound discharges, an 18km electrified security barrier as well as security personnel from the Army, the police, FBI and private security firms who dwarf the whole British military deployment in Afghanistan.
Organizers of the Games say the measures that are part of the biggest peace-time military mobilization Britain has ever seen are necessary for the security of the Games.
Defense Secretary Philip Hammond told BBC on May 13 that “there is no specific threat” targeted at the Games and that the government wants the military to “fade into the background” only to provide “ultimate assurance.”
However, others think the massive deployment of equipment and a total 41,500 forces in London for the Games is a hugely out of proportion and showy display of military power as in wartime – Britain had 68,000 forces in the battle of Waterloo with France – that would have nothing to do with the Olympics security.
An article in The Nation, back in May, grasped the spirit of London ahead of the Games by this observation:
“To be in London, two months before the 2012 Summer Olympics, is to feel a bit like a fish in an aquarium, with people constantly poking at the glass … [where] police vehicles are more prevalent than double-decker buses.”
That said, one should remember there is more evidence against what Hammond claimed to be low visibility security for ultimate reassurance: officers acting as terrorists in a police covert testing of Olympic Park security did manage to smuggle a fake bomb onto the site at least once during the security exercises back in May proving large-scale deployment of forces and equipment does not fend off terror attacks.
Other evidence also followed including what British police described as breach of Olympic exclusion zone by a 24-year-old al-Qaeda suspect identified as CF as well as reports of an Olympic Park worker who smuggled a fake bomb past two checkpoints into the site.
Indeed, the only major security breach in the past Olympic Games occurred in a small-scale hostage-taking incident during the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
And, the only major security incident in London in more than a decade occurred when 7/7 bombers blew up subway and bus stations in 2005.
This is while neither the government, Scotland Yard nor the security services has confirmed any terror threats to the games.
Moreover, there has been no 9/11-like incident anywhere neither before nor after it and no one is expecting one on London Olympics – indeed many believe the 9/11 itself was orchestrated by the US government itself.
Therefore, if any threats are jeopardizing the Games, they are from small-scale terrorist activities rather than conventional warfare.
Now one cannot help but asking if the security risk to the Games is not from conventional warfare and if no real terrorist risks are endangering the Games what is the objective of all the military fuss in London.
Defense officials have predicted a three-layered anti-aircraft defense wall consisting of expert observers, mobile and stationary radars, including the Rapier radar, missile systems, Typhoon fighter jets, attack helicopters and surveillance drones able to recognize car plates from up to one kilometers away.
Back in May, HMS Ocean’s commanding officer Andrew Betton said the vessel “is ideally suited to supporting the police in providing security for the world’s most famous sporting event.”
HMS Ocean is designed to support amphibious landing operations carrying helicopters and personnel where access to land bases for launching of operations is not possible.
Its deployment leaves one wondering what sort of security such a large ship can provide for the Olympics against terrorists.
The same goes for Rapier missile and radar system said to be able to scan areas other radars cannot cover including within empty factory buildings and buildings on the streets, LRADs, which can emit a highly focused beam of sound at 150 decibels a few dB lower than what can blow up one’s eardrums, the eight Lynx attack choppers, four RAF Typhoons, three Royal Navy Sea King choppers, Puma helicopters carrying RAF Regiment snipers, E-3D Sentry and VC-10 tankers aircraft and the 400 royal marines ready for action on the Thames.
Infowars said in an article back on May 11 “the Olympic games represent little more than an opportunity for the government to showcase its arsenal of draconian technology and stifling security measures which are justified by the threat of terrorism yet in reality are aimed at generating compliance and advancing the police state.”
However, the afore-mentioned examples show at least the security measures are not as stifling and perfect as the defense officials claim to be or probably are not meant to be as such.
It rather appears that London is simply using the Games as a military exhibition to show its military might to the world when it is at the center of hundreds of millions of people’s attention.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: WR NEWZ