2014 Commonwealth Games

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: The 2010 Commonwealth Games were mentioned as a potential target for a bio-terror attack. The XX (20th) Commonwealth Games
will take place in Glasgow, Poland, from July 23-August 3, 2014.

Title: India Prepares For Bioattacks At 2010 Commonwealth Games
December 23, 2009
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Almost eight battalions of India’s National Disaster Response Force have readied themselves with prophylaxis for anthrax and nerve gas antidotes in preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games that will take place in New Delhi.

Nearly 71 nations are expected to take part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 8,000 personnel from the eight battalions will be at all stadiums to fight any eventuality created by terrorists looking to cause panic or create terror.

“The profile of terrorists is changing. Gone are the days when only uneducated unemployed youth got into terrorism,” Alok Awasthi, Commandant of NDRF, told Mid Day. “Now well educated and techno-savvy youth are getting indoctrinated and hence we have to be ready to understand their mindset. Hence we have been asked to be on alert during the Commonwealth Games.”

The NRDF’s main areas of concentration during the games will be the possibility of bioterrorism, especially through anthrax attacks or chemical warfare agents such as nerve gas, mustard, phosgene, hydrogen cyanide and cyanogen chloride.

To combat the potential attacks, the NDRF will be equipped with Residual Vapour Detectors, Chemical Agent Monitors, Water Poisoning Detector kits and three color detector papers. Devices for decontamination from the agents will also be available.

“We will be carrying out mock drills in the venue of Commonwealth Games from January to create awareness among the people and also to test our teams,” Awasthi said (Bio Prep Watch, 2009).

Title: Terror Attacks 'Likely' In India During Commonwealth Games
Date: 2010
Source: Metro

Abstract: Fears about the safety of competitors, together with concerns about sanitation in the athletes' village, prompted a number of teams to think carefully about taking part in Delhi.

The Scottish team has travelled to India despite security worries (PA)

All nations have now confirmed their participation, although stars such as Geraint Thomas, Phillips Idowu and Elena Baltacha have withdrawn from the competition, which is set to get underway on October 3rd.

Although most athletes have been persuaded to compete, leading international security firm Control Risks has now warned that terrorists are likely to target India during the event.

Chietigj Bajpaee, a senior analyst for Control Risks, told the Observer: 'I think there is a relatively high likelihood of attacks taking place, but these attacks may not target the Games venues themselves.’

He advised that athletes should avoid using public transport or visiting tourist attractions and markets.

Mr Bajpaee added that as Indian authorities planned to use most of their security resources guarding the venues, terrorists would find that other parts of Delhi were more vulnerable to attacks (Metro, 2010)

Title: Commonwealth Games Prepared For Bioterror
Date: July 30, 2010
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: There have been no specific threats leveled at the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in India in October, but intelligence agencies have said there is enough of a generic threat to require them to be prepared for all manner of attack, including bioterror.

To protect the games against such organizations as Al-Qaeda and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba, the games will utilize a four-layered security cover designed to fight all potential threats, reports.

One Al-Qaeda commander, Ilyas Kashmiri, warned in February that foreign teams should stay away from the games. Thirty-three teams are currently scheduled to participate in the games. Lashkar-e-Toiba, experts have said, is believed to be planning terror acts against India.

The outer layer of security at the games involves the use of a massive police and paramilitary presence with perimeter fencing. Inner layers will use frisking and baggage checks for potential chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Inside those security levels will be security officials tasked with keeping an eye on actions inside of venues.

In the event of an attack, foreign delegates have already been briefed on evacuation drills and contingency plans for the Games village and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which will hold the opening and closing ceremonies, reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2010).

Title: Commonwealth Games 2010: Athletes Warned Of Rising Terrorism Threat
Date: September 25, 2010
Source: Guardian

Abstract: Athletes and business leaders planning to attend the Commonwealth Games in Delhi have been privately warned to expect terrorist attacks on tourist sites and public spaces across 
India, the Observer has learned.

After a week in which the Games appeared to be in serious danger of cancellation, some athletes have now started to arrive in Delhi. The first representatives of England arrived on Thursday, while Scottish and Welsh competitors were due to fly in yesterday.

But a risk analysis provided to a number of national teams – believed to include some from the UK – and major corporations has highlighted the terrorist threat overshadowing the event.

The alarming assessment, by one of the world's leading security firms, helps explain why the Commonwealth Games Federation president, Michael Fennell, warned yesterday that there was still great concern about the security and safety of athletes and officials.

In a damning indictment of Delhi's ability to protect visitors, the UK-based firm Control Risks warned that the diversion of security resources to protecting the main stadiums left India without the capacity or capability to protect soft targets, with local police not up to the job.

The firm has advised its clients to stay away from tourist attractions, public places and government buildings, and not to travel by public transport.

Chietigj Bajpaee, the company's south Asia senior analyst, told theObserver that Control Risks had advised clients to expect terrorist attacks on soft targets around India in the days running up to the Games and during the Games themselves, from 3 to 14 October.

"I think there is a relatively high likelihood of attacks taking place, but these attacks may not target the Games venues themselves," he said.

"We have advised against using public transport, advised against going to certain areas, advised against going to tourist attractions in the weeks leading up to and during the event, given that security resources will be concentrated on securing the Games themselves, so other parts of the city and the country will be vulnerable.

"We have also advised that if you are a team participant you may be more vulnerable than a tourist. We have advised avoiding areas around government buildings or anything that could be considered a soft target, such as marketplaces."

The advice was vindicated when two Taiwanese tourists were shot outside the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, in the heart of Delhi last Sunday. Initial attempts by the police to deny terrorist involvement were met with widespread disbelief and officials later pointed the finger at the Indian mujahideen, which had claimed responsibility and promised further attacks. One report, citing police sources, suggested the group had hired gunmen to attack westerners on sight.

The security warnings come at the end of a terrible week for India in which several national teams threatened to withdraw from the competition, voicing dismay at the ramshackle condition of the Games village, the collapse of a footbridge to the main stadium and the tourist shooting.

To add to visitors' concerns, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has now expressed serious misgivings about the quality of the stadiums. The institution's head in India, Sachin Sandhir, warned of serious shortcomings in the public and sporting infrastructure, despite the estimated £6.3bn spent on the Games.

"The last-minute dash to complete most venues has resulted in huge compromises on quality of projects, bypassing of clearances, and exploitation of workers," he said.

He said structures caving in or showing signs of damage so soon after being built – a ceiling within the main stadium also collapsed last week – "raise serious concerns on the structural quality, viability and safety of venues, and are indicative of the gross violations of building codes and regulations and the level of adherence to ethical professional practices".

Sandhir criticised the Games as a wasted opportunity for India to showcase its talents, blaming rampant corruption, inefficiency, a lack of trained and qualified professionals, and the allocation of construction works to ill-suited agencies. "The absolute disregard to the use of standard material and equipment has also seriously jeopardised safety of venues," he said.

In a verdict which will do little to reassure those heading for Delhi, he added: "We can now only wait and watch and be hopeful that not all the venues were subjected to this lackadaisical approach to development and, in fact, some of these will actually deliver to international standards."

Some athletes have now started to arrive in Delhi, but while organisers believe that their swift reaction to international protests – which included the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, taking personal charge – may have helped turn a corner, many parts of the city and its key Games-related projects still resemble a badly drained building site.

The first members of Team England to arrive have been staying in a five-star hotel after shocked officials deemed accommodation in the Games village unacceptable. Craig Hunter, England's chef de mission, said he was glad to see the work was being done to improve conditions in the village, but added "we are in a phase of looking at the detail, making sure that fire and safety equipment and procedures are in place and that the apartments are clean and safe. Our next wave of athletes arrives on Sunday and a lot still needs to happen before then. So more and swift action is required."

Yesterday, Fennell said there had been considerable improvements but that there was still a lot to do if the Games were to go ahead as planned. "What is of great concern is the safety and security of athletes and officials," he said.

About 7,000 athletes from 71 countries were expected to travel to Delhi, but several have pulled out, citing security fears, concerns over the accommodation and the ongoing dengue fever problem – worsened by large pools of stagnant water that have proved a breeding ground for mosquitos – as reasons enough to stay at home.

Australia's world discus champion, Dani Samuels, said the mosque shooting had led to her decision to pull out.

English diver Peter Waterfield, a previous gold and silver medal winner, said he was putting his family first and would not put himself at risk by travelling.

"I have a wife and two young children who were very concerned about me attending the event and this decision is one that we have made as a family. I hope that people will understand and respect this," he said.

Among the potential banana skins India must still negotiate are a court verdict due out on Tuesday on the hugely contentious Hindu-Muslim dispute involving the religious site at Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh, which has claimed thousands of lives in recent years. Security forces around the country have been placed on alert as a ruling is delivered on whether a Hindu temple or Muslim mosque can be built there.

The task of keeping order will be made more difficult by the decision to assign at least 40% of police in the capital to Games security, including inspectors in charge of anti-terrorism squads.

But Delhi's police commissioner, YS Dadwal, said that he was completely satisfied with security arrangements. "I assure international athletes that there is foolproof security for the Commonwealth Games," he said. "There is no doubt over it" (Guardian, 2010)