IOC on bin Laden: no bearing on Olympic security

IOC President Jacques Rogge said security at next year’s London

Olympics remains the ”top priority” and is not affected by the

death of Osama bin Laden.

Rogge declined to comment Monday on the killing of the Al-Qaida

leader by U.S. forces in Pakistan, calling it a ”political

issue.” But he said the International Olympic Committee’s security

strategy has remained the same since the killing of 11 Israeli

athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Games.

”Security has always been our concern,” Rogge said in Doha,

where he attended a conference on sports and the environment.

”Right from the Munich Games, we’ve been giving top priority to

it. But as far as enhancing security is concerned, it’s up to the

respective governments and associations to take care of it.”

Security at next year’s London Olympics has always been a top

issue for British organizers.

The terror threat was brought home the day after London was

awarded the games in 2005, when homegrown suicide bombers attacked

the city’s transit network, killing 52 people.

The British government has repeatedly said the national terror

threat will remain at the ”severe” level during the Olympics,

just one notch below the most extreme level of ”critical” and

meaning an attack is ”highly likely.”

”Security at the games is the responsibility of the local

authorities, and we have no doubt that our current partners will be

up to the task,” the IOC said in a separate statement. ”The games

are a celebration of peace. We look forward to that spirit being

respected during future editions.”

The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City went off peacefully

amid tight security just five months after the Sept. 11, 2001,

attacks.

The overall cost of security during the London Olympics is

listed at $1.2 billion. About 9,000 police officers are expected to

be on duty each day of the Olympics.