Monday, November 14, 2011

Ground-to-Ground Missile Defense to Secure 2012 London Olympics

Britain's Defense Secretary Philip Hammond is ruling nothing out to protect London during the 2012 Olympics, including the possible use of surface-to-air missiles.

Hammond -- responding to a question from his predecessor Liam Fox, who resigned as defense secretary last month -- told Parliament Monday that if the military recommends it, "appropriate ground-to-air defense" could be in place.

Fox noted that surface-to-air missiles had been in place for the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta games and asked Hammond to confirm that there would be "a full level of multilayered defense and deterrence" for the upcoming London event.

"All necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic games will be taken," Hammond said.

Thousands of British soldiers are likely to be posted at Olympic venues after a security review for the 2012 London Games showed that authorities may need to double the number of guards at stadiums and other Olympic sites.

Discussions with the Ministry of Defense are under way after studies suggested that the 10,000 security guards contracted for the games would not be enough. Some 6,000 soldiers are being considered to protect the games.

Officials on Monday dismissed a report in the Guardian newspaper that the U.S. is concerned security in London will be inadequate and will send 1,000 agents -- including 500 FBI agents -- to the 2012 games.

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