A memorable Games - for all the right reasons
News article - 14 Oct 2013
For decades, the Olympic Games have presented an attractive, high-profile target to terrorists.
GCHQ's responsibilities at the London 2012 Olympics included working to ensure that in amongst the high volume of visitors - volunteers, security staff, coaches and athletes - terrorists who wished to harm the Games did not slip through. We also provided intelligence to help secure 30 separate Olympic venues.
GCHQ also ensured that the high volumes of cyber attacks seeking to disrupt the opening ceremony by targeting critical national infrastructure (power, water, telecoms, etc) were repelled.
Preparations for the Games were long and thorough, with GCHQ working alongside counter-terrorist staff in MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Metropolitan Police Service, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, and Ministry of Defence.
In addition, the importance of the UK Intelligence Services' relationships with their foreign counterparts proved vital, given the worldwide reach of the Olympics and the globalised nature of the the threat from terrorists, criminals and cyber attack.
Much has been made of the importance of the Olympic legacy, and from a security perspective, GCHQ now finds itself in a stronger position. Better intelligence coverage of potential threats, increased integration between national intelligence efforts, and - most in keeping with the spirit of the Games - closer and better-developed intelligence co-operation with our international partners.