As the London Olympics gets under way, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence agencies had established a “threat integration center” with British security officials to analyze threats.
“For the past two years, NCTC, in coordination with our intelligence community and British partners, has been leading the U.S. effort to make sure that we are collecting and analyzing and sharing all potential threat information relating to the Olympics and that we are in a position to respond quickly to prevent any possible plotting tied to the games,” Matthew Olsen, director of the NCTC, testified Wednesday before the House Homeland Security Committee.
“In particular, NCTC, with our intelligence community partners, established a Threat Integration Center, designed to operate around the clock providing real-time situational awareness and threat analysis,” Olsen said in his prepared testimony.
The threat analysis center will be staffed by officials from the CIA, NCTC and the FBI as well as other U.S. intelligence services to review threat information and quickly share it with British Security officials from Scotland Yard, MI-5 and MI-6.
According to officials, the threat integration center, which is housed at the U.S. Embassy in London became fully operational on Wednesday. Spokespeople from the CIA and FBI declined to specifically address how many employees and agents they have in the United Kingdom assisting with the Olympic security effort, but two sources said the FBI had a contingent of about 50 employees and agents working in the United Kingdom.
“And we are, as part of our routine and ongoing and longstanding coordination with our close ally, we’ll have some liaison personnel that will be in country during the Olympic Games. They won’t directly be providing security. That’s what the U.K. authorities will be doing. But they’ll be providing some routine liaison capability,” Patrick Ventrell said at a July 17, 2012, State Department Briefing.
Along with the contingent of U.S. intelligence officials looking for terrorist threat information, there will also be a contingent of security officers from Diplomatic Security and the U.S. Secret Service on hand to guard athletes and dignitaries as the games get under way.