Teams assembled for Super Bowl security

Abby Sunderland, 16, says she will start over on her solo effort to sail around the world nonstop.
Abby Sunderland, 16, says she will start over on her solo effort to sail around the world nonstop. (Richard Hartog/associated Press)
Monday, February 1, 2010


Teams assembled for Super Bowl security

The vast security operation protecting the Super Bowl and surrounding events ranges from Air Force F-16s patrolling the skies above Miami on game day to a buffer zone extending at least 100 yards out from the stadium.

No one without credentials or a ticket will be allowed past that barrier -- and everyone will be subjected to screening by law enforcement personnel. Also among the security tools: 100 magnetometers, bomb-sniffing dogs, and devices that detect chemical or biological threats.

"We have no viable threat to the Super Bowl at this point," John Gillies, special agent in charge of the FBI's Miami field office, said in an interview.

In anticipation of next Sunday's game between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, the FBI is running the Joint Operations Center, which houses in one place more than 200 representatives from about 68 federal, state and local agencies that are responsible for security and responding to any threats.

The Miami-Dade Police Department has a separate Fusion Center that helps disseminate intelligence and other information to the smaller police and government agencies in South Florida.

"We collect intelligence from all over the world and then we disseminate it, so that everyone knows what's going on," said William Maddalena, a top Miami FBI official in charge of special events. "We'll have daily briefings to put out the latest information we have."

But all that intelligence-gathering might not uncover a person acting alone who wants to attack or disrupt the game or surrounding events. James Loftus, interim director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, said that's what keeps Super Bowl security planners awake at night.

Gillies agreed, saying: "The biggest problem that we have is the lone wolf. They operate by themselves. They operate in seclusion. They don't discuss their plans or potential threats to anyone else."

-- Associated Press

Brown backs abortion rights: Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown (Mass.) said he opposes federal funding for abortions but thinks women should have the right to choose whether to have one. He told ABC's "This Week" that he disagrees with his party's position that the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion should be overturned. Brown said the abortion question is best handled by a woman, her family and her doctor. He also said more effort needs to go into reducing the number of abortions. Brown recently won the Senate seat long held by Edward M. Kennedy (D).

2 lotteries reach new states: Dozens of states have begun selling Powerball and Mega Millions tickets in what could be a step toward an eventual national lottery. Margaret DeFrancisco, co-chairman of a committee for both lotteries and president and chief executive of the Georgia Lottery Corp., said tickets for both games began selling to new markets on Sunday. Twenty-three of the 33 jurisdictions where Powerball has been played are selling tickets for Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing. Ten of the 12 states where Mega Millions has been played are selling tickets for Wednesday's Powerball drawing.

Sailor stops for energy boost: A 16-year-old Southern California girl on a mission to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone and nonstop says she is taking a pit stop in Mexico to deal with an electricity problem. On her blog, Abby Sunderland of Thousand Oaks wrote that she is headed for Cabo San Lucas to add a "new battery or two" because solar panels and wind generators are not keeping up with her energy needs. Sunderland said she will restart the solo sail in her 40-foot craft, Wild Eyes, as soon as possible. She set sail Jan. 23 from Marina Del Rey, Calif., and plans to be at sea for five or six months.

-- From news services

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