The London Summer Olympics are nearing and in preparation for the event the city has recalled all 3,800 agents of the countries MI5.
The mobilization of MI5 forces makes the London Olympics the agencies biggest operation since World War II.
According to officials annual leave will be heavily restricted at that time and agents who are typically involved in counter-espionage will instead focus on terrorism watch duties.
It’s still unclear how much talk has actually occurred between jihadist groups about Olympic sized attacks however officials agree there has been at least some “chatter.”
In preparation for the summer games new monitoring and intelligence gathering systems have been put in place including security checkpoints which will help keep nearly 540,000 people safe while monitoring militant groups and working with foreign intelligence services.
According to the Independent:
The new system developed by MI5 for the Olympics, including computarisation, details of which are classified, has been in place since last October. It is deemed to have been highly successful, and will be kept in use after the Games have finished.
Security checks on those attending the Games, under the overall control of the Home Office, will be carried out for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and include the athletes, their families, officials, the media and workers. The company G4S, which has the contract for providing security, is now sifting through 50,000 job applications all of which must be vetted.
MI5 was only recently called in to help with Olympic events after it was realized that the cities original estimate of 10,000 helpers needed to be doubled to the current 20,000 works. That increase has also increased the estimated cost of the summer olympics from £600m to £1bn. In the meantime MI5 says there will be no additional cost to taxpayers for their agents’ services.
MI5 joins MI6, GCHQ – the government’s electronic listening base which is already looking for terrorist activity chatter involving the games. Also included in security will be 13,500 military personnel.