Stanford University’s international security expert, Martha Crenshaw, recently gave an interesting interview on terrorism and the games in London. It’s well worth reading for her global perspectives on what’s happening in the British capital from a security standpoint.
To quickly recap that interview here:
On London as a possible terrorism target … “It’s pure speculation to think about London as a possible security target. So there is a risk in London but if I were in London I’d be more afraid of a traffic jam.”
On Britain more generally being a target … “Terrorists might think it’s particularly embarrassing and spectacular to attack during the Olympics because it would heighten the fear factor. On the other hand, it’s easier to mount an attack when there is not the high level of Olympics security.”
On the challenges of securing a city like London … “It’s hard to protect lots of people in a big city. There are lots of crowds, lots of movement. It’s not as though you can extend a perimeter; it’s a moving target all the time. The Olympics might be a target, London has been a target, so the combination of the two could cancel each other out but I’m sure security officials are worried.”
On security outsourcing … “A lot of people who were with the military in Iraq and are in Afghanistan are contractors. Everybody contracts out security these days. But, the question deserves to be looked at. Is it a good idea to rely on these private firms?”
On bringing in the military to help G4S … “If I were the British government dealing with the fallout of the security firm’s lack of preparedness, I’d much rather rely on soldiers who have been vetted and have experience than security officers who were quickly brought together.”
Those interested in learning more about Crenshaw and the terrorism dimensions of the Olympics can click here.