Quotes of the day
posted at 8:01 pm on July 22, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
Israel has bolstered its security presence for the London Olympics amid fears that an Iranian terror squad in Europe may be planning an attack on its athletes, according to a press report Sunday.
Scotland Yard and Britain’s domestic intelligence service MI5 are believed to have raised their assessment of the threat against the Israeli delegation following last week’s suicide attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria, the Sunday Times reported.
The Israeli government has reportedly dispatched agents from its internal security service Shin Bet to protect its team of athletes.
Agents from Israel’s elite intelligence organisation, Mossad, are hunting Iranian-backed terrorists in Europe, who are allegedly planning an “anniversary” attack 40 years after the Munich massacre, Britain’s The Sunday Times reports.
The fears come as tensions rise over the International Olympic Committee refusal to commemorate the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists on September 5, 1972.
In preparation for an Olympic terror assault, panic rooms for VIPs and spectators have been set up beneath London’s Olympic Stadium to protect them from being taken hostage or killed, according to The Sunday Times.
Taking into account the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran during the 2012 Summer Games, the Olympic committee in charge of the London event has formed a special team to prepare for the contingency. …
England is thought to be within the range of Iranian missiles and UK officials believe that a military confrontation between Jerusalem and Tehran could involve the country against its will.
The special team listed a number of steps that would need to be taken in the event of such a conflict, among them: opening a special command center, providing secret safe houses for foreign leaders wishing to meet for diplomatic purposes, and preparing for emergency evacuations of dignitaries.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge won’t budge: There will be no minute’s silence for the Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
Rogge rejected the latest calls Saturday for a special observance to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Games.
“We feel that the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident,” Rogge said.
Organisers of the Olympics hit back on Sunday at cynics after weeks of negative headlines, saying criticism over planning mistakes and costs were being outweighed by a surge in public excitement as the gala opening ceremony nears.
Britain’s famously caustic media, which have highlighted security and transport problems before the July 27-Aug. 12 Games, also seemed to adopt a more positive stance as thousands turned out to cheer the Olympic torch relay through London.
“I think possibly what we’re going through as a nation, as a city is that necessary, pre-curtain-up moment of psychological self-depression before the excitement begins on Friday when the curtain goes up,” London Mayor Boris Johnson told the BBC.
“The mood is perceptibly changing. People are starting to get really excited here in London about the arrival of the torch …. The last remaining clouds of dampness and Olympo-scepticism are going to be banished,” he later told Sky News.
The athletes and the Olympic torch have arrived in London – and so has the party.
For those keener on celebrity-spotting or dancing the night away than medal counting, the British host city has plenty of action to offer during games time.
Away from the track and field, Hollywood royalty such as Brangelina and Nicole Kidman will be rubbing shoulders with diplomats and businessmen at the city’s glitziest clubs and grandest historic buildings.
Meanwhile, Dizzy Rascal, Snow Patrol and other musicians will keep crowds entertained at outdoor concerts across the capital…
Olympic athletes are giving up their personal physical data in exchange for the latest gadgets that record sleep, diet and exercise patterns as they try to boost their performance in this year’s games.
Several health technology companies plan to use the athletes’ data to help re-engineer the tracking devices and later reposition the products for the amateur sports performance market or the $61bn weight loss market.
“These are early-phase trials to see how it works,” said Kevin Sayer, president of DexCom, which has donated its continuous glucose monitors to several US athletes. “We’re open to learn.”
Many of the technologies have been developed since the last Olympics and executives at a number of health-tracking companies are looking to the London games to increase their exposure.