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,
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.