No concrete ‘dirty bomb’ threat to Beijing Olympics: IAEA

VIENNA, May 23, 2008 (AFP) – The UN atomic watchdog said Friday that it had seen no concrete intelligence regarding a possible dirty bomb threat to this summer’s Olympic games in Beijing. Talking to journalists, Anita Nilsson, head of nuclear security at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was asked is she could confirm that the agency had received no specific intelligence of a possible threat to the Beijing games.

“That’s correct,” Nilsson said.

A team of IAEA experts had been carrying out in-depth training courses for Chinese police, security and intelligence officials over the past 18 months on detection and response to a possible nuclear or dirty bomb threat to the games.

But such preparations were “business as usual” nowadays, the IAEA official said.

“It’s part of new practices on how to secure events” such as the Olympic Games, Nilsson said. “It’s part of the broader perspective of security and the higher benchmarks that anyone uses these days.”

Earlier this week, Nilsson had told the BBC in an interview that the Beijing Olympics could be the target of terrorists using radioactive material, possibly in the form of a “dirty bomb”.

There was n