Generally speaking, countries seek to avoid widespread scandals involving their government, law enforcement and the media in the year before they host massive international sporting events. Nonetheless, with the 2012 Olympics about 53 weeks away, that’s where Britain finds itself in the wake of the phone-hacking allegations involving the News of the World tabloid.
The wake of the controversy has led to the resignations of Scotland Yard chief Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the country’s top anti-terrorist officer.
That would seem harrowing, given that Britain is planning for the terror threat to be “severe” during the Olympics, but Olympics minister Hugh Robertson insisted that much of the security framework was already in place before counterterrorism minister Pauline Neville-Jones left her job in May.
“I am not concerned about the resignations in relation to Olympics security,” Robertson said Monday in statement to The Associated Press.
Jonathan Evans, the director of domestic spy agency MI5, has said that the Olympics “represent a significant target for terrorist groups.”
London was hit by terrorists the day after London was awarded the Olympics in July 2005, with homegrown suicide bombers attacking the transit network, killing 52 commuters.