Rogge Claims Bin Laden Killing Won’t Affect London ’12 Security Fears

May 3, 2011

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge has claimed that Osama Bin Laden’s killing by United States troops does not add to security fears at London 2012.

The world’s most wanted man and leader of al Qaeda was killed following a shoot-out in an Abbottabad compound in Pakistan in a mission initiated by United States President Barack Obama.

His death has since led to fears that there will be a backlash of terrorist attacks targeted at major events such as the Olympics, prompting fears that there could be a repeat of the massacre at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, when 11 Israeli athletes and officials and a German policeman were killed by the Islamic terrorist group Black September.

Speaking at the 9th World Conference on Sport and the Environment, Rogge stated: “The IOC position is very clear. Osama bin Laden is a political issue that I do not want to comment on. Since the Munich 1972 Games, security has been our number one priority.

“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.

“That has always been the policy of the IOC and that will not change with what happened today.”

Security at next year’s London Olympics has always been a top issue for British organisers after a terror attack on the capital that came the day after London was awarded the Games in 2005 where home-grown suicide bombers attacked the city’s transit network and killed 52 people.

The Government has repeatedly said the national terror threat will remain at the “severe” level during the Olympics, just one notch below the most extreme level of “critical” and meaning an attack is highly likely.

The overall cost of security during the London 2012 Olympics is estimated at £720 million ($1.2 billion) while up to 9,000 police officers are expected to be on duty each day of the Olympics.