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

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



Valentina Soria

Associate Fellow

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Margaret Gilmore

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Sir Nick Parker KCB CBE

Distinguished Fellow

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