Strategy for London security unchanged

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DOHA, Qatar --- 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.

Jacques Rogge: IOC president said the level of security for the London Games won't be affected by the death of Osama bin Laden.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Jacques Rogge: IOC president said the level of security for the London Games won't be 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 terrorism 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 terrorism threat level will remain at "severe" 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.


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