LONDON May 6 A newspaper embarrassed the
organisers of the 2012 Olympic Games on Sunday by disclosing it
had smuggled a fake bomb past two security checkpoints into the
London complex housing the sporting festival's main stadiums.
The best-selling Sun newspaper conducted the stunt on
Friday, at the end of a week-long pre-Olympics military exercise
that saw a warship sail up the River Thames and plans announced
to put missiles on rooftops near the Games venue in east London.
The government's Home Office department, responsible for
domestic security, said it had asked the Games organisers to
investigate the incident and report back urgently to interior
minister Theresa May.
The paper said it had given the fake device - a plastic box
containing wires and harmless Plasticine - to the driver of a
mechanical digger working on the construction of the park, who
then drove with it past security guards into the site.
The driver had contacted the paper because he was concerned
that he was searched only when he arrived each morning, and was
then able to leave and re-enter without further checks, it said.
"If I had terrorist connections I could be bringing in
explosives, chemicals - anything at all," the paper quoted him
as saying, without revealing his identity.
Video published on the paper's website showed the driver
being waved past two checkpoints. He also took photos of himself
with the mock explosive near the main stadium, a day before it
was formally opened at a test event with a 40,000-strong crowd.
Britain is spending more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6
billion) guarding the Olympics in what will be the country's
biggest peacetime security operation.
Typhoon fighter jets and Lynx helicopters will be ready to
defend a 9/11-style airborne attack, while on the ground a force
of 24,000 guards and soldiers will protect Olympic venues, where
spectators will pass through airport-style screening gates.
As one of the biggest supporters of the U.S. invasions of
Iraq and Afghanistan, Britain is seen as a prime target for
Suicide bombers killed 52 people in coordinated attacks on
London's transport network the day after the capital was awarded
the Games in 2005.
London Games organisers LOCOG said they would investigate
the paper's allegations, adding that security would increase
significantly as the July 27 opening ceremony drew closer.
"The (Olympic) Park and the Village will be searched and
sealed before it is locked down for Games time," they said.
(Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Clare Fallon)