Terrorism and the Olympics: Major Event Security and Lessons for the Future, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Terrorism and the Olympics

Major Event Security and Lessons for the Future, 1st Edition

Edited by Anthony Richards, Peter Fussey, Andrew Silke


272 pages

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The book aims to outline the progress, problems and challenges of delivering a safe and secure Olympics in the context of the contemporary serious and enduring terrorist threat. The enormous media profile and symbolic significance of the Olympic Games, the history of terrorists aiming to use such high-profile events to advance their cause, and Al Qaeda's aim to cause mass casualties, all have major implications for the security of London 2012.

Drawing on contributions from leading academics and practitioners in the field the book will assess the current terrorist threat, particularly focusing on terrorist targeting and how the Olympics might feature in this, before addressing particular response themes such as transport security, the role of surveillance, resilient designing of Olympic sites, the role of private security, and the challenge of inter-agency coordination. The book will conclude by providing an assessment of the legacy of Olympic security to date and will discuss the anticipated issues and dilemmas of the future.

This book will be of interest to students of terrorism studies, security studies, counter-terrorism and sports studies.


'This timely book provides realistic analyses of potential threats to the Olympics and possible countermeasures. All those responsible for protecting the Games and other major public events and gatherings would benefit from reading it.' - Paul Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of St Andrews

'Drawing on the expertise of internationally renowned academics and industry experts, Terrorism and the Olympics is an invaluable reference resource for those concerned about preventing potential threats to London’s 2012 Olympics and applying best practices to major public event security in general.' - Dr Joshua Sinai, Virginia Tech

'This book provides an important introduction to the multi-faceted issues faced by mega-event organisers in the current political climate. The book clearly highlights the complexities of the issues connected to major event security and raises some difficult questions for organisers of current and future events should the current worldwide political situation remain unchanged.' - Ian Brittain, Coventry University - JCTS

Table of Contents

1. Towards an Understanding of Terrorism and the Olympics Anthony Richards, Pete Fussey, Andrew Silke 2. Terrorism, the Olympics and Sport: Recent Events and Concerns for the Future Anthony Richards 3. Al Qaeda and the London Olympics Afzal Ashraf 4. Understanding Terrorist Target Selection Andrew Silke 5. Securing the Transport System Steve Swain 6. Surveillance and the Olympic Spectacle Pete Fussey 7. Strategic Security Planning and the Resilient Design of Olympic Sites Jon Coaffee 8. Governing the Games in an Age of Uncertainty: the Olympics and Organisational Responses to Risk Will Jennings 9. The Role of the Private Security Industry David Evans 10. The Challenge of Inter-Agency Coordination Keith Weston 11. The European Union & the Promotion of Major Event Security Within the EU Area Frank Gregory 12. Critical Reflections on Securing the Olympics: Conclusions and Ways Forward Anthony Richards, Pete Fussey, Andrew Silke Appendix: Terrorist Threats to the Olympics, 1972-2016 Pete Fussey

About the Editors


Anthony Richards is a Senior Lecturer in Terrorism Studies and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice degree at the University of East London. He has written on a wide variety of terrorism-related themes.

Peter Fussey is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Essex and has authored numerous papers and articles on Olympic security.

Andrew Silke is the Field Leader for Criminology and the Director of Terrorism Studies at the University of East London. He is author of several books and over 80 articles on terrorism.

About the Series

Political Violence

This book series contains sober, thoughtful and authoritative academic accounts of terrorism and political violence. Its aim is to produce a useful taxonomy of terror and violence through comparative and historical analysis in both national and international spheres. Each book discusses origins, organisational dynamics and outcomes of particular forms and expressions of political violence.

Founding Editor: David Rapoport

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Law Enforcement
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism