Olympics Security Advice Offered
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TINOS, Greece (AP) _ Seven countries, including the United States, have offered to send security advisers to work with Greek police before and during the 2004 Olympics.
Athens organizers have budgeted a record $600 million for Olympic security. Athens is receiving counterterrorism advice from Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Spain and the United States.
Each of those countries will offer up one area of expertise to assist the Greek police, said Peter Ryan, a 2004 security adviser.
``We are pretty much on track,″ he said. ``We’re pretty well there, but nonetheless it’s a huge task.″
A former Australian police official, Ryan said Olympic officials and the Greek police are planning for ``the unthinkable″ after last year’s Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. ``When I say all threats, I mean all threats,″ he said.
Some 45,000 security personnel will work at the Olympics: 25,000 from the police, 7,000 from the military, 3,000 coast guards, 1,500 firefighters, 5,000 private security contractors and 5,000 trained volunteers.
Police have arrested 17 suspected members of the far-left November 17 militant organization following a bungled bomb attack on June 29. The group has killed 23 people, including four American officials.
``They’ve made significant inroads into November 17, but the important thing is to always bear in mind that urban terrorism can spring up at anytime,″ he said. ``Because one terrorist group is out of the way that doesn’t mean to say you dismiss that threat coming from another quarter.″