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UKTA No. 1: Counter-Terrorism in an Olympic Year

Valentina Soria, Margaret Gilmore, Michael Clarke and Nick Parker
Commentary, 24 April 2012
Terrorism, UK Counter-terrorism, UK, Securing Britain, Terrorism, Europe
The first report focuses on the British counter-terrorism landscape as we prepare ourselves for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The UK will witness the biggest security operation ever mounted, amidst an ever-present and evolving terrorism threat. The Games will also mark a watershed for British security policy, with long-delayed reforms and resource cuts taking place immediately after the Games.


 Key Points


  • The authorities have done a good job preparing to keep the Olympics secure; but new counter terrorism problems will persist long after the Games have closed
  • Global trends will keep the incidence of international terrorism high and promote new ways for it to take effect
  • Arrests and failed plots give clues to how the terrorist threat in the UK is changing
  • Despite the deaths of key Al-Qa'ida figures in 2011, the terrorist threat has not diminished and will continue to dominate UK security concerns until and beyond the London 2012 Olympic Games
  • The security response to the Olympic Games is unprecedented in scale, interoperability and cost
  • As we move closer to the Games, we are likely to see more security activity, especially in arrests and searches
  • The Olympic Games are likely to prove a major turning point in the allocation of resources for UK counter-terrorism
  • Successes in counter-terrorism where there are no attacks in the UK will paradoxically lead to a streamlining of counter-terrorism capabilities as the public and politicians lose the appetite for high spending



Sir Nick Parker KCB CBE
Distinguished Fellow

General (Retd) Sir Nick Parker left the British Army in May 2013. Since his departure he has reviewed the senior structure of the Police... read more

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