A recent op/ed article appeared in the LA Times that suggests the upcoming London Olympic Games will result in certain travel logisitics nightmares as well as what some consider an overabundance in security presence and resource usage. For the full article, click here:
Mr. Erroll Southers, TAL Global’s Managing Director, Counter-Terrorism & Infrastructure Protection shares personal insights about the similarities and differences between London and Los Angeles as Olympic Games venues – from a counter-terrorism perspective:
“I was a Santa Monica police officer, who worked and attended several events during the 1984 LA Olympics, which (because of the security presence) we nicknamed, “the 1984 SWAT-o-rama and Weapons Expo!”
The author of the LA Times article is correct. Nothing happened in LA, as residents fled the city, renting out their homes, people avoided the freeways and security personnel banked a ton of overtime hours.
However, the LA Olympic Games were in 1984, long before 9/11. In fact, the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center wasn’t even an idea then, because al-Qaeda didn’t exist. America and the West had not fought wars in Iraq or Afghanistan; America was not home to the largest Pakistani community outside of Pakistan (like the U.K., some Pakistani immigrants aren’t thrilled with Western foreign policy, to say the least), and we hadn’t arrested anyone associated with terror plots before the 1984 opening ceremonies anywhere in the country (as they have just done in London), with a connection to the Olympics or otherwise.
Who can say if more British troops on standby for the London Olympics than those deployed in Afghanistan is appropriate? I guarantee one thing: if there is a terror-related incident at these Games, security critics will not be in short supply!
Let’s at least applaud the Brits for understanding the true meaning of “risk-based and intelligence-driven” security. And for those of you who choose not to attend the Games, you may miss out on the best competition that sport has to offer. History will certainly be made!”
TAL Global is an international security consulting and risk management firm that provides a comprehensive array of investigative, disaster mitigation planning and risk management services. Our extensive international network of professionals enables us to provide our clients with the highest level of security and loss prevention services around the globe. Our commitment to an impeccable standard of ethics has earned us an unparalleled international reputation for professionalism and excellence among many Fortune 500 corporations.
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