Missiles to protect London 2012 Olympics

The UK government insists its security plans for the 2012 Olympic Games are on track.

Story highlights

  • MP tells British parliament ground-to-air missiles available to protect London 2012
  • Defense secretary Phillip Hammond says a range of security options are available
  • British newspaper had claimed the U.S. was unhappy with planned level of security

Ground-to-air missiles at the 2012 Olympic Games? It's not a new sport added to the London line-up, but proof that Britain's government is taking security seriously.

Defense secretary Phillip Hammond has confirmed that such weapons will be at the disposal of those tasked with ensuring public safety at the UK capital's summer showpiece.

He told parliament that a full range of options would be available for protecting the Games, which kick off on July 27.

Hammond was asked by his predecessor, Liam Fox, to confirm if a "full range of multilayered defense and deterrents" would be on hand, including surface-to-air missiles.

"I can assure him that all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including -- if the advice of the military is that it is required -- appropriate ground-to-air defenses," Hammond replied.

Earlier on Monday, British newspaper The Guardian had claimed the United States was planning to send 1,000 security personnel, including FBI agents, to the Olympics after developing concerns about arrangements.

The paper said that the UK government is having to field more and more questions on security from its U.S. counterpart, with one source saying of the White House: "They are being very demanding."

It also claimed the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has decided to more than double the amount of security guards protecting the 32 Olympic sites across the country to 21,000 from 10,000.

The Guardian quoted the UK Home Office, responsible for home security, as saying its Olympic planning was "on track" and that the funding was in place.

"The government is committed to delivering a safe and secure Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy," a spokesman said.

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