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Olympic Security

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Greek law enforcement authorities say foreign leaders and dignitaries attending the upcoming Olympic games can bring their own armed guards.

Athletes will be under the exclusive protection of Greek forces, but nations fearing terrorist attacks during the games will be allowed special security details.

The U.S. plans to send nearly 200 security personnel, including State Department Diplomatic Security and FBI agents. Anti-terrorist teams will also be on hand under the command of NATO, which will provide air patrols and other support.

Meantime, the security budget for the Athens Games---already the costliest in Olympic history---has increased another 20 percent.

Greek officials previously put the cost of safeguarding the games at $1.2 billion. But Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas now puts security costs at about $1.5 billion.

The rise is attributed to increasing security demands by foreign governments. He did not elaborate. Much of the security cost has been for high technical surveillance equipment, new weaponry, and a $312 million contract with a U.S. led consortium for a security network.

The Olympics get under way August 13th and conclude August 29th.


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