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U.S.-U.K. security experts unite for London Olympics
Question of the Day
Advanced facial and image recognition software will be used to identify suspects and connect multiple crime scenes. Cameras will be used to capture suspicious behavior. And special drones will be used for crowd surveillance, according to a salesman at an Israeli company who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
And remember the movie “Speed” where a bomb would allegedly go off if a bus went slower than 50 mph (80 kph)? Hundreds of public transport vehicles and VIP buses being used in the London games have already been equipped so authorities can tell if a driver is acting erratically — something that might happen in a hijacking.
Authorities will also be able to stop a vehicle remotely or keep it going at a certain speed — technology that could be useful if a terrorist were carrying explosives and threatening to crash a bus full of athletes into a crowded venue.
The British military has already made headlines with the weapons it will have available — surface-to-air missiles, RAF Typhoon combat aircraft and an aircraft carrier docked on the Thames, the river that cuts across London close to several Olympic sites.
Security officials had worried that Irish dissidents could target the games, but those fears have dissipated.
Despite the U.S.-U.K. collaboration, there will still be differences in how the London Olympics is policed. Most of the security personnel will be unarmed — a striking difference to operations in the United States.
Adding to security issues, leaders from around the world will want to visit during the Olympics. The American delegation will be led by first lady Michelle Obama while President Barack Obama focuses on his re-election campaign.
“I’ve not heard any American who has said they were concerned about security here,” said Susman, the ambassador. “London has made an effort to showcase London for the world and I think it’s going to be terrific.”
• Ian Deitch contributed to this story from Jerusalem and Nicholas McAnally from Paris.
By Orrin G. Hatch
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