London on alert for terror attack ahead of Olympic Games
Lucy Carne in London
News Limited newspapers
July 22, 20125:05PM
ISRAEL fears an Iranian terror squad in Europe are planning to attack their athletes during the London Olympics, according to reports.
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.
The paper also claims that if an attack occurred on the stadium, security forces would “invacuate” key people, rushing them to safety inside the attack zone.
An estimated 50,000 VIPs will attend the Games, including a reported 140 heads of state, 200 government ministers, 100 royals and 150 members of the International Olympic Committee.
A ring of steel has been set up to protect the Games, including snipers on the stadium roof and lighting towers and airborne radiation detecting equipment.
While M15 and Scotland Yard have reportedly raised the threat level against Israelis at the Games, Israel’s security squad Shin Bet has also been sent to protect the country’s 38 athletes living at the Athletes Village.
Concerns of an attack on Israel were heightened by the suicide bombing of a bus in Bulgaria last week, killing five Israeli tourists and the Bulgarian bus driver.
A man – carrying American travel documents – exploded a bomb on board the tourist coach just hours before an Israeli cargo plane carrying elite security teams landed nearby.
The blast was reportedly revenge for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran blames on Israel.
It confirmed intelligence Mossad had received that the Quds Force - Iran’s overseas hit squad – would use a suicide bomber disguised as a westerner.
The Israelis are now convinced the attack was a precursor to a bigger hit — with London’s Olympic Games as the suspected target, the paper claimed.
They allegedly believe Iran and Hezbollah, the militant Shi’ite Muslim group it arms and funds in Lebanon, plan to repeat the bloodshed of Black September.
The world watched in horror in 1972 when Palestinian terrorists scaled the fences of the Athletes Village in Munich and killed two Israeli athletes and took another nine hostage.
After German forces bungled an ambush at the military airport, the terrorists shot the athletes and threw a grenade into their helicopter to ensure they were dead.
A global campaign – backed by US president Barack Obama – has pushed for a minute of silence during London’s Opening Ceremony to honour the victims.
But IOC president Jacques Rogge rejected the proposals, saying that it was inappropriate to commemorate the deaths at the Olympics.
“We feel that the Opening Ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident,” he told a press conference.
He added that some IOC delegates would attend a memorial on September 5 at the German military airport of Furstenfeldbruck where the killing took place.
“We are going to pay a homage to the athletes, of course, as we always have done in the past and will do in the future,” he said.