Abstract: The upcoming summer of sport brings unprecedented and unique security challenges. In the wake of Islamic State attacks in Paris and Brussels, the terrorist threat to the UEFA Euro 2016 football (soccer) tournament is more acute than for any international sporting event in history. Although the threat from Islamist terrorism is much less acute for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, any Olympic Games is a potential terrorist target, especially in an age of increasingly globalized terror. The British experience developing and implementing a security plan to protect the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics provides useful lessons for protecting large, international sporting events from terrorist attacks.
The UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, which kicks off June 10 at the Stade de France in Paris, is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Over the course of a month, 24 European countries will play 51 matches at 10 venues around France with 150 million television viewers expected to tune in to each live match. In the wake of the Islamic State’s terrorist attack on France’s capital and national stadium last November and its continued capability and intent to strike France, the terrorist threat to the tournament is more acute than for any other international sporting event in history.[a] While the threat from Islamist terrorism to the Rio Olympics, which begins August 5, is nowhere near as acute, Brazilian authorities will need to remain vigilant about a range of security threats and plan for a wide range of scenarios.
This article draws on my experience developing and implementing a security plan to protect the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, the United Kingdom’s largest-ever policing operation, in order to outline the security challenges facing France and Brazil this summer and to offer lessons learned.
Global sporting events provide a perfect target for terrorist groups and the ultimate opportunity for a stunning and symbolic terrorist attack. The Olympic Games, with its mass appeal and global audience, is particularly attractive as an opportunity for political statements, to include extreme violence such as terrorism. With billions watching and the world’s media assembled, modern technology enables terrifying images to be broadcast across the world in seconds. Grand spectacles such as these showcase the values that al-Qa`ida, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups reject: world unity, democracy, religious freedom, equality, and capitalism. Opening ceremonies are a particularly attractive target for a terrorist group. At least one-third of the flags carried at the Rio Olympics, for example, will represent countries that have contributed to the U.S.-led military coalition against the Islamic State.
Sporting events of all kinds have long been targeted by terrorist groups. During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, a Palestinian terrorist group took members of the Israeli national team hostage, eventually killing 11 athletes and coaches as well as a police officer. In the decades that followed, sporting events were repeatedly in the cross-hairs of terrorist groups. Between 1972 and 2004 there were 168 terrorist attacks linked to sports. The Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 were disrupted by a bomb detonated at a music concert at Centennial Olympic Park in an attack that was instigated by a former U.S. Army soldier. Olympic representatives were again targeted in 2006 when gunmen stormed an Olympic committee meeting in Baghdad and kidnapped 30 individuals.
Football and cricket events have also been targeted. Hours before Real Madrid’s 2002 Champions League semifinal match against its rival Barcelona, a car bomb left by the Batasuna Basque separatist group[b] exploded close to Bernabeu Stadium in Spain’s capital, injuring 17 people. Pakistan has had two significant terrorist attacks linked to cricket. The first occurred in 2002 when 14 people, including 11 French naval engineers, were killed in a suicide bombing outside the Karachi hotel where the New Zealand cricket team was staying. The second took place in 2009 when the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus was attacked by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi en route to a match against Pakistan.
The Threat to Euro 2016
The Euro 2016 tournament comes at a difficult time for France, still recovering from a series of deadly attacks across the country that, in the past two years, have killed 147 people and seriously injured hundreds more. France continues to support the coalition’s air campaign over Syria and Iraq, and its president, Francois Hollande, has declared on more than one occasion that his country is at war with the Islamic State.
France was singled out in a fatwa delivered in September 2014 by Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s official spokesperson and the man responsible for its international terrorist operations in Europe. French intelligence agencies found it impossible to prevent the attacks that followed. Their challenges were exacerbated by porous borders across the European free travel area (the Schengen Area) where terrorists and weapons moved across countries unhindered by border checks.
In the lead-up to Euro 2016 the head of the French domestic intelligence agency, Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (DGSI), Patrick Calvar, described the threat to France in stark terms: “Clearly, France is the most threatened country … we know that Daesh [the Islamic State] is planning new attacks.” He added that whereas “the attacks of last November were carried out by suicide bombers and Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen to maximize the number of victims, we risk being confronted by a new form of attack: a terrorist campaign characterized by the placing of explosive devices in places where there are large crowds and repeating this type of action to create a climate of panic.” Last month France extended its state of emergency from the November Paris attacks through Euro 2016. This national posture gives authorities a range of powers, including the ability to place individuals who are deemed a security threat under house arrest.
Not only does France remain in the cross-hairs of the Islamic State, but the group has already shown a high level of intent and capability to target international football matches in the country, as was illustrated on November 13, 2015, when three Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Stade de France during an international friendly between France and Germany. Only one person was killed outside the stadium, but seven were seriously injured. Many more could have been killed if the attacks had been timed for when the 75,000 fans were arriving or leaving the venue or if the attackers had been able to gain entry to the stadium.
Stade de France in Paris following the November 2015 attacks (AP)
With the eyes of hundreds of millions of television viewers focused on France, Euro 2016 is an even more attractive target for the Islamic State because the group has been particularly keen to garner maximum international media coverage to amplify terror and fear. Then there is the revenge factor, which may make Euro 2016 an irresistible target; several countries taking part in the tournament have been targeting the so-called caliphate with airstrikes, including France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.
Investigators were not therefore surprised when Mohamed Abrini, the so-called “man in the hat” at Brussels airport, told Belgian interrogators that Euro 2016 was the target of the Islamic State cell that carried out the Paris and Brussels attacks. These claims are still being assessed, but Belgian authorities believe that when key members of the cell were arrested, the remaining terrorist operatives changed their plans and attacked Brussels airport and a metro station.
It is important to note that the Islamic State will be keenly aware that any attack anywhere in France by its operatives or followers during Euro 2016 will get global, mass media coverage. It does not have to attack stadiums to achieve this windfall; it can attack fan zones or other so-called soft targets not directly associated with football and still be seen as having attacked the tournament. It should also be noted that because of its recent successful attack on Paris, the Islamic State has been able to sow fear ahead of the tournament simply through rhetoric and threats. This will contribute to inevitable security scares during Euro 2016.
Al-Adnani ratcheted up threats in an audiotape released in May calling for Islamic State fighters and followers to intensify their efforts to hit the West during the month of Ramadan, which starts three days before Euro 2016 and coincides almost exactly with the tournament. Last year the Islamic State had told its followers they would receive 10 times the heavenly rewards for carrying out attacks during the Islamic holy month.
The Paris and Brussels attacks, which were carried out by a mostly Franco-Belgian Islamic State terrorist cell, clearly demonstrated the group’s capability to launch an attack in France during Euro 2016. As many as 9,000 Europeans have traveled to join jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, with as many as 1,500 now assessed to have returned to European soil. According to the DGSI, over 2,000 French nationals and residents are on the radar screen of French domestic intelligence for their links to jihadist networks in Syria and Iraq, with over 600 believed to be currently residing in the two countries.[c]
As DGSI chief Calvar recently noted, al-Qa`ida and its affiliates in Syria, Yemen, and North Africa still pose a danger to France. It is possible that al-Qa’ida’s network will try to organize an attack during Euro 2016 to steal the Islamic State’s thunder. A significant number of French recruits have joined al-Qa`ida affiliate Jabhat al Nusra in Syria. Al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) trained at least one of the brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has intensified its attacks on Western nationals in Africa.
The Threat to Rio
In contrast to Euro 2016 and despite the seemingly obvious opportunities that the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil present to terrorist groups, the threat in Rio or elsewhere in the country during the Games will most likely be assessed by intelligence agencies as low to medium, which is unlikely to change between now and the start of the event.
Demography and geography are important reasons for this. Brazil and other countries in South America do not face anywhere near as great a challenge from violent Islamist extremism as France and other European countries. In contrast to the thousands of Europeans who have traveled to join the Islamic State, only a handful of Brazilians have made the trip. And while many Islamic State operatives have been able to sneak back into Europe over land and sea, Brazil is separated from the theater by thousands of miles of ocean. That said, there are rising concerns that the numbers of Islamist extremists are growing in Latin America. Earlier this month, Admiral Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, stated that the Islamic State had attracted between 100 and 150 recruits from Latin America, a small number of whom had attempted to return home.
Unlike France, Brazil itself is not a priority target for the Islamic State. Brazilian officials have generally avoided commenting on the coalition against the Islamic State. One exception was in June 2015 when Defense Minister Jaques Wagner welcomed military cooperation with Iraq, including the provision of logistical support and training to Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State.
One of the terrorist risks that Brazilian officials fear most is that of a lone actor in contact with terrorist networks in Syria and incited through encrypted social media to undertake a terrorist attack during the Olympic Games. Brazil’s counterterrorism chief, Luiz Alberto Sallaberry, stated in April that there had been a rise in the number of Brazilian nationals suspected of having sympathy for the Islamic State. He also pointed to a tweet posted last November by Maxine Hauchard, a French national featured in Islamic State execution videos, that threatened, “Brazil, you are our next target.' Covert intelligence coverage is unlikely to intercept such a conspiracy, which is why community intelligence-gathering is so critical. An individual such as this is more likely to be detected by an alert social worker, teacher, or mental health care professional. Still, the difficulties in launching an attack during the Rio Olympics will not stop the Islamic State from using its propaganda before and during the Games to instill fear.
As well as being vigilant to the threat from the Islamic State and al-Qa`ida, Brazilian security officials will need to be alert to the terrorist wing of Hezbollah, which has a track record of launching attacks on Israeli and Jewish interests in South America, including the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, which killed 23, and the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, the country’s largest Jewish organization, in 1994, killing 85.
Brazil should also think more broadly about terrorist threats from a number of leftist militant groups operating in neighboring countries in South America, which may see the Rio Olympics as a rare opportunity to get global coverage for their cause. One group of concern is the Paraguay People’s Army (EPP), a Marxist rebel group responsible for a rising number of attacks in northern Paraguay, including hostage-taking of Westerners. Another potential threat might be breakaway factions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) displeased with its ongoing peace talks with Colombia’s government.[d]
How We Secured the London Games
Four years ago, as the London Olympic and Paralympic Games beckoned, al-Qa`ida was the most prominent terrorist threat to the world. The U.S. drone attacks had significantly degraded its leadership in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region of northwest Pakistan, but the group still had the capability and intent to respond and carry out complex terrorist attacks.
The Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), the forerunner to the Islamic State, was becoming more assertive and ambitious, but it was not the global terrorist organization that the Islamic State is today. Syria was on the brink of civil war, but the ‘Caliphate’ had not been claimed or declared. ISI’s focus was on securing land and fighting its enemies in Iraq.
The London Olympics were just over a year away when I was appointed the head of Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) at the London Metropolitan Police, and I had no higher priority than working with the key stakeholders to develop a security plan to protect the Games. At the heart of our effort was thinking through every conceivable attack scenario and implementing security plans to prevent or respond to them.
A hundred days before the start of the Games, preparations intensified to deal with the many and varied threats and risks associated with major, global sporting events. It was a nervous time for police, intelligence agency professionals, and the government. Successful counterterrorism is ultimately only measured by the absence of a terrorist incident. Our security efforts extended far beyond the Olympic venues. An attack anywhere in the United Kingdom during the course of the Games would be viewed as attack on the Olympics.
We were running multiple terrorist investigations in the United Kingdom and internationally, mindful that any one of them could implicate a plot to attack the Games. Investigations focused particularly on home-grown, British extremists who were expressing clear intent to carry out terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom at that time, individuals who rejected British values and who supported the global jihad narrative.
Research by police and intelligence agency analysts showed that approximately 40 percent of the several thousand Islamist extremists across the country were committing low-level criminality with offenses that included benefit fraud, disqualified driving, and even drug crimes. This presented us with an opportunity to suppress their criminal, extremist, and radicalizing behavior while simultaneously taking them on using routine police tactics. Armed with this information, I set out a strategy that was lawfully audacious, pursuing vigorously those extremists who were breaking the law, no matter how minor their offenses were. The strategy expanded our toolkit of disruptive options, using criminal as well as terrorist legislation to suppress the activities of extremists who wished to do us particular harm.
We commissioned our informants to be observant for unusual signs and activities, and we heightened the alert stakes across all our law enforcement agencies. We also enlisted the help of our ‘eyes and ears,’ the tens of thousands of patrolling police officers across the country who engage with communities every day.
Ahead of the Olympics we developed a tailored, social media monitoring capability, which allowed us to observe extremists’ use of social media platforms to promulgate their views. Sophisticated software gave us ‘sentiment analysis’ across communities and enabled us to respond to and prevent planned public disorder by radical and extremist groups. This proved to be of immense value in the run up to and for the duration of the Olympics, particularly during the two months that the Olympic torch made its way through the United Kingdom. This capability was developed in just four months at a cost of GBP2 million but continues to be, in the years since, highly valuable to counterterrorism efforts in the United Kingdom. It is an example of how the Olympic Games can provide a security as well as a sporting legacy for a country.
During the days and weeks before the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, working in tandem with MI5, we responded to the intelligence we had gathered and executed a high number of search and arrest warrants, mindful to inform communities of what we were doing and why. Public confidence in our counterterrorism activities was crucial. The last thing we wanted to generate was public protest and unrest. But we judged it necessary to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to disrupt any terrorist planning.
The Counter Terrorism Command planned, tested, and exercised every conceivable threat scenario: air and maritime threats; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks; cyber attacks on national computer systems; organized crime efforts (such as ticket fraud and ticket touting); demonstrations; and riots. Creative thinkers were on overdrive. Each threat or risk required a detailed, planned response, which often required months rather than weeks of planning as well as the prepositioning of assets. Hundreds of contingency plans were prepared. For example, we thought about and developed response protocols to hypothetical scenarios such as terrorists or activists entering the Olympic stadium on a microlight, a drone armed with explosives flying into one of the opened-roof venues, and an unidentified fast boat failing to stop for police marine units as it approached Olympic sites from the Thames.
Interagency rivalries were extinguished. The command, control, and coordination (C3) mechanisms that needed to be designed and understood by multiple civilian and military agencies as well as government ministers were a challenge but one we achieved.
We were able to set up a state-of-the art, integrated command-and-control system, which linked together multiple control rooms across London and the United Kingdom. Footage from our pre-existing extensive network of CCTV cameras as well as an array of cameras positioned at key sites gave us significant coverage, as did teams of overt and covert officers patrolling the Olympic sites and access points.
There was a “Gold” operational command-and-control center based in a warehouse in Lambeth and staffed by representatives from all police and security agencies. Additionally, a strategic control center was based at New Scotland Yard to manage the interface and coordination between all agencies. These control rooms were, in turn, linked to “Bronze” control centers at each Olympic site. We also had Covert Control centers managing counterterrorism surveillance teams deployed against targets and a separate control room managing our reactive police resources that were on standby in case there was any incident: these included specialist teams of counterterrorism officers stationed in vehicles around London and ready to respond to any terrorist attack. Bomb disposal units were strategically positioned at key locations. The military and intelligence agencies also had their own control rooms linked to ours under a single command-and-control protocol. Securing the Games was the United Kingdom’s largest-ever peacetime policing challenge.
To coordinate all our efforts every morning during the Olympics, ministers chaired a daily security coordination meeting that was similar to the government’s “Cobra” meetings.[e] Joining up all of these nodes required significant investment in high-end systems. Just as with our development of social media warning systems, it provided an Olympic legacy to our counterterrorism capabilities, the benefits of which are still being felt today. Ahead of the Olympics we also invested heavily in relationship-building with our counterparts around the world as there is no more global event than the Olympics. Some of the relationships we strengthened during the Olympics have been useful in improving information-sharing in confronting the global threat from the Islamic State.
Once the Olympic Games got underway, we identified a significant number of suspicious packages and hoax bomb threats, but there were no significant security scares. Our approach during both the Olympics and Paralympics was to take no chances. We deployed mobile SO15 investigations teams to chase down every possible lead as quickly as possible. Mixed reactive teams of experienced counterterrorism officers provided real-time response to all threats, leads, and intelligence. During the Olympics, investigators reached any location within minutes to assess and extinguish any potential threat.
A linchpin of our security plan was to secure and lock down the venues themselves. As with all other aspects of our security preparations, decades of dealing with sophisticated IRA terrorism had made our British counterterrorism models for major sporting events the best in the world. Our lockdown-security approach involved sweeping every inch of venues days and weeks before events began. Once secure, access to venues was then strictly limited through the deployment of high-end search regimes such as those used at airports, including search arches (walkthrough, security metal detectors). The Olympic village was also subject to a fingertip search before the Games began and access was strictly controlled thereafter by screening all entering individuals for weapons and explosives. The lockdown strategy was supplemented by a concerted drive to root out any prospective pass-holder for any venue who may pose a threat to the event. The smuggling of a laptop bomb onboard a passenger aircraft in Somalia in February was a reminder that it is vital that potential insider threats are identified and dealt with early.
Lessons Learned from London 2012
In preparing for any major sporting event, it is essential that security professionals take an ‘all threats, all risks’ approach to planning. Failure to do this can result in unforeseen risks derailing events where too much focus is restricted to known threats. Public protest at the Athens Olympics in 2004 almost jeopardized the opening ceremony, and the Zika virus in Brazil is far more likely to damage the success of the Games this summer than terrorism.
Security planning should explore every possible risk scenario and design mitigation measures to prevent negative effects and to minimize impact. Testing and exercising the response to every foreseeable risk scenario prevents security planners from becoming myopic. It is vital too that planners make the distinction between threats that can be assessed by understanding the capability and intent of the threat and then risks that are defined as possibilities and opportunities that can be measured in terms of mathematical probability.
In France, Brazil, and other countries hosting major sporting events in the future, intelligence-sharing between intelligence agencies and police forces within a country is critically important. Terrorism is both a threat to national security (the remit of intelligence agencies) and a crime and threat to public safety (the remit of police forces). Also important is responding quickly to intelligence coming in from overseas countries. The lesson we learned from London 2012 was to trust the intelligence. While information-sharing can be enhanced during a major sporting event, there are no quick fixes to the issue of intelligence silos. In the United Kingdom in response to the threat from the IRA and then al-Qa`ida, it has been a 25-year project to integrate the work of our police and intelligence services to tackle terrorist threats.
It would also be a mistake to treat Euro 2016 or the Olympics as purely host-city sporting occasions. The vulnerable underbelly of these events is outside of the host cities in venues and stadiums, transport hubs, and other crowded places where police are not familiar with high levels of security. An attack anywhere in France during Euro 2016 is an attack on the event itself. Only a comprehensive national safety and security strategy will prevent such attacks from occurring and keep the national security infrastructure focused on threats and risks across the state.
Heading into Euro 2016 there is particular concern that fan zones, where large groups of fans will watch the football matches on Jumbotrons, could be targeted. One of these fan zones under the Eiffel Tower has the capacity for 90,000 people. About seven million supporters attended fan zones in the host cities during the Euro 2012 championships in Ukraine and Poland. French authorities are planning to put these areas under video surveillance, conduct explosive sweeps each day, use metal detectors and pat downs, and prohibit large bags inside.
At any big sporting event there will inevitably be areas in which crowds gather that cannot be completely secured. For example, getting 80,000 fans into a football stadium will always involve queues. But there are several strategies that can be employed to mitigate the threat, such as those we used at London 2012, including placing CCTV cameras at all access points to stadiums, flooding zones with covert officers and overt police, deploying specialist search dogs, and placing ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) around all access roads.
During Euro 2016, France is likely to continue to rely on a heavy military presence. A portion of the 10,000 soldiers already positioned at sensitive sites will be redeployed to protect the Euro 2016 tournament alongside 77,000 police, gendarmes, and riot-control officers as well as 13,000 private security guards, all to protect the estimated 2.5 million people who will watch the 51 scheduled football matches in person. France has also declared the stadiums no-fly zones and has pre-positioned anti-drone technology. Brazil is planning to deploy around 85,000 security personnel for the Games, including the police organization National Force for Public Security, double the number used in London in 2012.
But delivering safety and security effectively is not about sheer volume of military, police, or civilian security guards presence. We learned from the 2012 Olympics that it is better to invest in intelligence-gathering capabilities and command-and-control systems than relying on swamping the streets with uniformed staff.
The lesson from the London Olympics was that security is best achieved by gathering good intelligence, then analyzing and acting upon it quickly, supplemented by both a visible and invisible police presence on the ground. Intelligence analysis needs to be supported by a multitude of modern surveillance tools linked to one command-and-control system. These technologies include advanced CCTV, ANPR systems, movement analysis of known suspects, and bulk data searching of flight and other manifests alongside additional covert surveillance methodologies.
Major event security is most effective when it combines highly technical systems with covert intelligence capabilities under an integrated command-and-control framework. This approach reduces the need for too visible of a uniformed presence as much of this provision is invisible at the event itself. The result is that the public are actually less fearful but better protected.
Contrary to popular belief, armed soldiers and armed police do not prevent terrorism or necessarily reassure the public. Our largely unarmed police presence at the London Olympics created a relaxed atmosphere, and much of our armed policing response capabilities were not visible to those participating or watching the games. While Britain’s armed forces were on standby during the London Olympics, aside from assisting with our search regimes, we always kept them in reserve.
Politicians and security chiefs should be mindful of the fine balance between encouraging vigilance in the public mindset and scaring the population, which plays into the terrorists’ hand. Against a backdrop of a severe global terrorist threat, leaders in France and Brazil will need to be robust and calm. And if there is an attack they will have to do everything possible to ensure it does not derail the entire tournament. In London we operated under the maxim that “the Games must go on.” In the event of an attack our plan was to create a more visible security presence to reassure the public and then do everything possible to get the city back to normal as quickly as possible.
Delivering security in times of high threat has never been more challenging, but I remain optimistic that both Euro 2016 in France and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio will be great sporting occasions. Moving forward, the worry may be that because of the increasingly global nature of the terrorist threat, only rich countries will have the resources to hold secure, international sporting events, and so it is all the more important that Brazil succeeds.
Pierre de Coubertin, the French founder of the International Olympic Committee, once said that “holding the Olympic Games means evoking history.” France and Brazil will need to ensure that the history made this summer is sporting history alone and not any other kind.
Richard Walton headed the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) at the London Metropolitan Police between 2011 and 2016. He was Head of Counter Terrorism for London during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, the United Kingdom’s largest peacetime policing challenge. He is currently the director of Counter Terrorism Global Ltd, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and a counterterrorism consultant for CBS News.
[a] On May 31, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert warning Americans that Euro 2016 “stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for terrorists.” U.S. State Department Travel Alert, May 31, 2016.
[b] Batasuna was banned as a political party in August 2002. Its terrorist wing is known as ETA.
[c] According to the DGSI, at least 400 of those currently in Syria and Iraq are believed to be male and old enough to fight. More than 200 French residents are in transit from France to Syria and Iraq and more than 800 have an intent to travel, according to DGSI. And almost 250 are back in France, according to the agency. Audition de M. Patrick Calvar, directeur général de la sécurité intérieure, Commission de la Défense Nationale et Des Forces Armées, Assemblée Nationale, May 10, 2016; Jean-Charles Brisard tweet on official DGSI figures from May 10, 2016.
[d] FARC’s tight control over its rank-and-file membership has resulted in little opposition thus far to the group’s decision to pursue peace talks. Steve Salisbury, “Where is the Columbian Peace Process Headed,” Peace Insider, February 23, 2016.
[e] Cobra or “Cabinet Office briefing room A” are meetings convened to discuss high-priority issues cutting across various U.K. government departments. They have frequently been held at times of national emergency.
 UEFA Euro 2016 Press Kit, May 12, 2015.
 Kristine Toohy and Tracy Taylor, “Mega Events, Fear, and Risk: Terrorism at the Olympic Games,” Journal of Sport Management 22 (2008): pp. 451-469.
 Sam Borden, “Long-Hidden Details Reveal Cruelty of 1972 Munich Attackers,” New York Times, December 1, 2015.
 Kim Clark, “Targeting the Olympics,” U.S. News and World Report 136:21 (June 14, 2004): p. 34.
 Michael Ross, “Eric Rudolph’s Rage Was a Long Time Brewing,” NBC News, April 13, 2005.
 Kirk Semple, “Gunmen Kidnap 30 at Olympic Committee Meeting,” New York Times, July 16, 2006.
 Sean Ingle, “Car Bomb Rocks Bernabeu,” Guardian, May 1, 2002.
 “Timeline: Cricket and Terrorism,” Guardian, March 3, 2009; Rob Krilly, “‘Mastermind’ behind Sri Lanka cricket team attack arrested,” Daily Telegraph, August 31, 2012.
 For example, see Yara Bayoumy, “ISIS urges more attacks on Western ‘disbelievers,’” Independent, September 22, 2014.
 John Irish, “French security chief warns Islamic State plans wave of attacks in France,” Reuters, May 19, 2016; Audition de M. Patrick Calvar, directeur général de la sécurité intérieure, Commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées, Assemblée Nationale, May 10, 2016.
 “France extends state of emergency to cover Euro 2016 football tournament,” France 24, May 19, 2016.
 Paul Cruickshank, “The inside story of the Paris and Brussels attacks,” CNN, March 30, 2016.
 Paul Cruickshank and Mariano Castillo, “Source: Paris, Brussels attackers sought to target Euro 2016,” CNN, April 11, 2016.
 “Islamic State Calls for Attacks on the West during Ramadan in Audio Message,” Reuters, May 22, 2016.
 Malia Zimmerman, “ISIS marks anniversary of caliphate amid Ramadan calls for violence,” Fox News, June 27, 2015.
 Department of Defense Press Briefing by Gen. Philip Breedlove, Commander, U.S. European Command, and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe in the Pentagon Briefing Room, March 1, 2016.
 Audition de M. Patrick Calvar, directeur général de la sécurité intérieure, Commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées, Assemblée Nationale, May 10, 2016.
 “Foreign Fighters – An Updated Assessment of the Flow of Foreign Fighters into Syria and Iraq,” The Soufan Group, December 2015.
 Kristina Wong, “US military eyes ‘extremist Islamic movement’ in Latin America,” Hill, June 1, 2016.
 “Brazil welcomes military cooperation with Iraq,” Middle East Monitor, June 4, 2015.
 “Brazil sees rising threat from Islamic militants: intelligence agency,” Reuters, April 15, 2016.
 For more on the bombings and the investigation into them, see Matthew Levitt, “Hezbollah’s 1992 Attack in Argentina Is a Warning for Modern-Day Europe,” Atlantic, March 19, 2013 and Dexter Filkins, “Death of a Prosecutor,” New Yorker, July 20, 2015.
 See Laurence Blair, “In Paraguay’s remote north guerrillas are still at large, armed and dangerous,” Guardian, August 31, 2015.
 Robyn Kriel and Paul Cruickshank, “Source: ‘Sophisticated’ laptop bomb on Somali plane got through X-ray machine,” CNN, February 12, 2016.
 “French interior minister promises ‘very high security level’ at Euro 2016,” Associated Press, March 22, 2016; Ben Rumbsy, “Euro 2016: The five key areas the French security effort will focus on,” Daily Telegraph, May 30, 2016.
 “France to deploy security force of 90,000 to police Euro 2016: Minister,” Reuters, May 25, 2016.
 “Euro 2016: France to declare no-fly zones and deploy anti-drone technology,” BBC, May 17, 2016.
 “Brazil sees rising threat from Islamic militants: intelligence agency,” Reuters, April 15, 2016.