Security Tests Launched for London Olympics

Posted July 5th, 2011 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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British police have launched a yearlong program of security tests to check the readiness of government, police and other agencies ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

The exercises will test a range of scenarios, including possible terrorist attacks. Other things that could impact the smooth running of the Games include long lines, big crowds, large protests, organized crime and transportation disruptions.

Home Secretary Theresa May said Tuesday that the program of exercises will play a key role in helping deliver a safe and secure Olympic Games.

The Olympics will see the biggest ever peacetime policing operation in Britain. The London Games are seen as a high security threat in particular, as the Olympics offer a ready platform for any terror group intent on wreaking havoc at live events broadcast worldwide.

Islamist extremists are considered a major threat to London. Al-Qaida-inspired bombings on the city's transport system in July 2005 killed 52 people.

The government has earmarked $900 million for Summer Games security, which May pledged would be protected from public spending cuts.

The Olympic security program builds on testing that has already been done and does not include a separate program by government agencies and emergency services to test incident responses.