News / Europe

Security Revved Up for London Marathon

London Revs Up Security for London Marathoni
X
April 20, 2013 1:28 PM
Security will be in high gear for the London Marathon this Sunday after this week's bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 170. Selah Hennessy reports from London that analysts say the security plan will be similar to what was in place for last year's London Olympics.
London Revs Up Security for London Marathon
Selah Hennessy
Security will be in high gear for the London Marathon this Sunday after this week's bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 170.  Analysts say the security plan will be similar to what was in place for last year's London Olympics.

London’s security services are planning a major security operation following the two blasts at Boston’s marathon on Monday.
 
U.S. authorities said the bombs were made of pressure cookers stuffed with explosives, nails, and ball bearings. They suspect the bombs were concealed in backpacks and left at the marathon.

Analysts say, like many terror threats since the turn of the century, the attack was coordinated, in a crowded space, and at a media-friendly event.

According to security analyst Jennifer Cole, it's just the type of attack for which British security services are on high alert.

The FBI has released CCTV footage identifying two suspects. She said the same kind of surveillance technology is a major part of London’s security operations.
 
"Those type[s] of images are the images that the operators would have been trained to look for. The leaving of the bag and moving away from it is something that our specific software picks up that type of movement," Cole said. "So there is nothing I would say that we have seen from the Boston attacks that would lead us to think about changing the way that we would [do] security for the London marathon.”

On Wednesday, London held a major high security event with the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Cole said security measures for the funeral are being rolled over to Sunday’s marathon. And she said events like last year's Olympic torch relay across Britain and Olympic marathons on London’s streets gave security officials good training.

“What we will do [are doing] is applying the security that was put in place for the Olympics marathon to the London marathon," she said. "And the short period of time that there have been means that the systems that were put in place for that - the training that people had - is still very fresh in people’s minds. So just being able to switch from that relatively low security operation to a high operation very quickly is going to be easy.”

On Friday, Londoners said they were not worried about a potential security threat.

One person said, “I am sure it is going to be absolutely fine. And I do not think we should get concerned about it. And I am quite blithe and unconcerned.”

Another said, “Nothing is has really happened around here. It has been pretty safe. I have been here for three years, so I am not really worried.”

Thirty-thousand runners will be sweating it out on Sunday - but the security services, too, have a challenging day ahead.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Simon
April 20, 2013 3:20 PM
No backpacks - perhaps the time has come for plastic transparent "tog" bags, where contents are visible.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs