US Sending 500 FBI Agents to London Olympics

US government worried about athlete protection in London
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2011 2:40 AM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2011 3:21 AM CST
US Sending 500 FBI Agents to Olympics
This is an aerial view of the Olympic Stadium in London with a newly turfed event field,   (AP Photo/Anthony Charlton, File)

(Newser) – The US government is so concerned about security preparations for the London Olympics that authorities plan to send 500 FBI agents and 500 other security personnel to protect American athletes and diplomats, reports the Guardian. US officials are worried about new legal restrictions on Britain's anti-terrorism "stop and search" powers, and are demanding specifics on security manpower assigned to athletes, sources have told the newspaper. The Olympic Committee, which organizes the event, initially thought some 10,000 security personnel, with some of those coming from the military, would be enough for the games. But after recent reconsideration, officials believe they may need closer to 21,000 guards for 32 Olympic sites across the country.

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British officials, meanwhile, are growing annoyed by the US' pestering and by the nation's probable large security "footprint" during the games. "We are not equal partners in this," said one British official. "They are being very demanding." Another official said: "The Americans are risk-averse, with a capital 'A' and underlined. They want to see everything." (Read more 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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