The 2012 London Olympics will be protected from terrorist attacks thanks to six sites with surface-to-air missiles stationed on rooftops in nearby neighborhoods.
Britain’s defense secretary confirmed that the sites are being used as part of the security measures to protect the Summer Games, the Christian Science Monitor reported. The weapons will be located across the capital and on the rooftops of two east London apartment blocks, Philip Hammond told U.K. lawmakers.
Some residents challenged the location of the missile sites, but a defense official said they consulted with landlords and gained permission to use the six sites, and that tenants should direct complaints to the landlords. Some residents have even made legal challenges, but Hammond said he believes the objections will be defeated in court.
Other missiles will be stationed on farmland in east London, along the hillsides of south London and at a nearby reservoir. Defense officials said those locations give the best vantage points to protect the 2012 London Olympics, the Associated Press reported.
Britain’s MI5 has been beefing up its own security in the lead-up to the games in response to possible terrorist threats, CNN reported. Though official have been efficient at stopping threats, MI5 officials said they are more likely to consider all threats, no matter how credible.
“You could say that we are near to reaching a form of stalemate – they haven’t stopped trying but we have got better at stopping them,” said MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans. “That is normally as much as security on its own can achieve.”
Though there is no specific threat to the Olympics, Britain has experienced about one credible terrorist threat from al Qaeda each year, officials said. Security experts believe they will uncover a plot involving the 2012 London Olympics, whether it comes from al Qaeda or from the Irish Republican threat, CNN reported.