News / Europe

London Reviews Security Plans After Boston Bombing

A road closure sign is seen placed along The Mall, the location for the London Marathon finish line, in central London April 16, 2013.
A road closure sign is seen placed along The Mall, the location for the London Marathon finish line, in central London April 16, 2013.
Al Pessin
Following the Boston Marathon bombings, British officials are reviewing security plans for the London Marathon on Sunday, and also for Wednesday’s funeral for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

The Boston bombings occurred just two days before the Thatcher funeral, with dozens of foreign leaders on their way to attend the event.  There are plans for a funeral procession through the center of London and a service for more than 2,000 people at St. Paul’s Cathedral, including Queen Elizabeth and her husband and most members of the British government and parliament.

British security consultant David Rubens is not directly involved in the planning, but he knows what top security officials are going through.

“First of all, you really go back and check your intelligence, whether there are any indicators through, for example, communications that there are unknown activists who are identified as potential threats to your operation," Rubens explained. "It is always intelligence-based in the modern world.”

Related video report by Selah Hennessy:

London Police Review Marathon Security After Boston Attacki
X
April 16, 2013 9:33 PM
Security preparations for Sunday's London Marathon are being reviewed after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, London’s Metropolitan Police said Tuesday. As Selah Hennessy reports from London, the race is due to go ahead.


Thatcher’s death has renewed old but still emotional debates about her time in office in the 1980s, including street protests by groups celebrating her death last week at age 87.

There was a robust security plan for her funeral even before the Boston bombings.  And Rubens said there is not much more that can be done in terms of physical security. 

“I think really what you do is you increase awareness, rather than any specific security activities," he said.  "So it does come down to, I think, human profiling by trained and professional people on the ground, who have got the eyes to potentially detect non-normal behavior, which will indicate a potential attack.”

On Sunday, London hosts its own marathon, another major event on the annual athletics calendar.  Race Director Rick Bitel said the race will go on.

“We are continuing to review security with the Metropolitan Police in the coming days," Bitel said. "The London Marathon, in common with most sports events in the world, have got fairly detailed contingency plans, which one hopes could deal with anything that would occur.  But, when something of this nature does happen, you obviously want to review them and see whether changes need to be made.”

London security officials got a lot of experience in dealing with large-scale events during last summer’s Olympics, which were widely hailed as a security and sporting success.  David Rubens said they understand the balance that must be struck at such events.

“It is very difficult because you always have this balance to be made, the balance between security and safety on one side and open freedom and public access on the other," Rubens said.  "And, that is a decision that is made both at a political and a security policing level.”

Rubens also noted that many senior British police officers also experienced the 20 years of bombings by the Irish Republican Army from the 1970s into the 1990s.  He said that should help them determine the appropriate level of security for this week’s events.

You May Like

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Bernard H from: UK
April 17, 2013 9:53 AM
Sebastian, very true observation. I have lived in London for 54 years, and I am ashamed to see it turned into an Islamic enclave of Arabs and Pakistanis... . It used to be such a lovely City. But so have degenerated almost all of Europe... look at Paris... Amsterdam... we have tried to be good tolerant hosts - "open minded" we used to call ourselves... and now we live in fear in our own homes. Our Children are being prostituted for Islam... I just hope Canada and the US can save themselves from this revolting Islamic incursion... "multiculturalism" is a very sinister euphemism for Islamisation...

by: Sebastian from: Canada
April 16, 2013 10:45 AM
London... you could have called it Cairo and got the same idea of stench!! have you been to London lately..?? you would think you are in Islamabad... yeah, keep the "multiculturalism" in Europe!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs