Barbara Crawford moved from Oklahoma City four days be
ATLANTA (AP) _ Barbara Crawford moved from Oklahoma City four days before the deadly bombing. Now she fears her new home in Atlanta will make her a target of terrorism because of the 1996 Olympics.
``It’s a crazy world,″ she said Thursday in the Summerville neighborhood in the shadow of the towering stadium that will be the centerpiece of the Summer Games. ``You’re not safe anywhere anymore.″
Her sentiment was shared by other residents of the poor, inner-city neighborhood.
``I think we are a prime target for terrorists,″ Annella Clark of Atlanta said. ``We just extend this hearty welcome to people with our Southern hospitality.″
Josette Scott, a suburban Atlanta resident who works at an inner-city clothing store a few blocks away from the partially completed Olympic stadium, hopes the bombing will prompt Atlanta Olympic officials to step up security.
``This is a wake-up call for Atlanta,″ she said. ``At least we have some time to prepare.″
At least one Atlanta business leader said the residents’ fears are playing into the terrorists’ hands.
``As a democratic society, we’ve got to get on living,″ said Sam Williams, president of the downtown business group Central Atlanta Progress. ``We can’t let terrorists frighten the whole country.″
At the Atlanta Olympic headquarters on Thursday, it was business as usual. Organizers refused to talk about possible security implications for the Games from Wednesday’s bombing.
``Don’t draw a relationship between the bombing in Oklahoma City to the Olympic Games because none exists,″ spokeswoman Lyn May said.
But security experts and a civil rights leaders said the link is inevitable.
``I think anyone that says they’re not at least apprehensive is either not paying attention or not telling the truth,″ said Joseph Lowery, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
``It’s a monstrous kind of savage act to kill people, including innocent children who aren’t accountable for anything,″ he said.
The Games ``provide a showcase″ for terrorists, said Brent Brown, head of an Atlanta firm that designs security strategies for office towers and top executives across the country.
``You’ve got the full attention of the United States and the entire world focused on the Atlanta Olympics. What better place to prove that you can pull off a terroristic act,″ he said.
Tickets to the Olympics go on sale May 1, and the official message to Olympic visitors is: ``We believe Atlanta is safe. We believe it will be safe in 1996 when visitors come,″ Ms. May said.
``Frankly, I believe that’s a standard marketing response,″ Brown said. ``Nobody can guarantee 100 percent security.″