US sending own security agents for London Olympics
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
London, Nov 14, IRNA -- The US is preparing to send up to 1,000 of its agents, including 500 from the FBI, to provide protection for America's contestants and diplomats during next year's Olympics in London, it was reported Monday.
American officials were said to have expressed deep unease that the UK has had to restrict the scope of anti-terrorism 'stop and search' powers, and have sought a breakdown of the number of British police and other security personnel available.
But according to the Guardian, Washington's need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials, who have privately raised concerns about the meddling, as well as the size of the US 'footprint' in the UK during the 2012 games.
'We are not equal partners in this,' one British security official was quoted as saying. 'They are being very demanding.'
The friction comes after Britain has conceded it underestimated the number of security guards needed at the 32 sites across the country, originally believing 10,000 guards would be enough, but after a review, upping the number to 21,000.
Some of the issues provoking anxiety among the Americans are also to do with the police response to the London riots, the arrest of a security guard at the London Olympics site earlier this year, and arrests made shortly before the visit of the Pope last year.
Britain has also been forced to curtail section 44 of the Terrorism Act, which allowed police to stop and search suspects with near impunity, after the powers were declared unlawful.
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30663218
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