The 2004 Olympic Games Security Policy - A Strategic Management Approach of Olympic Security Forces with Emphasis on Events System Management and the Role of the Hellenic Coast Guard
Κοροντζής Τρύφωνας Χαρ.
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Background to Project

The modern history of the Olympic Games was marked by certain events, which formed a new reality on security and increased its importance regarding the Olympic Games organisation. These events refer to both national and international security environment 1. Chronologically the most important of these are:
Mexico 1968: in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico many citizens were killed by the security forces, when with a mandate of the regime of the President of the country, a big demonstration of people, organised in 'the Three Cultures' square by residents of the capital, who were protesting for hosting the Olympic Games and the huge costs which led to the detriment of social services, was broken up. The result was 260 people dead and 1.200 injured. A most serious point is that the above incident was a social demonstration and not a terrorist (Κastriotis, 2001) attack. And in that case the previous social demonstration affected the security performance of the O.G. as just security measures should have been taken from the organizer state in order to ensure that the games would be taken in a secure environment for the athletes who took part and the supporters who followed the games (Mbrekis, 2008, pp,127-128)
Munich 1972: Eight Arabs, members of the Palestinian organization 'Black September", had got into the Olympic Village, murdered two Israeli athletes and kept nine other as hostages, with the demand the release of 200 Palestinians prisoners who were held in Israel. The Israeli Government did not accept the requirements of the Palestinians and so an intervention by the safety authorities was decided. The German police tried a raid, which resulted in the death of nine hostages, five terrorists and one German policeman. This is the first time when a terrorist attack during the Olympic Games has happened. Obviously this terrorist attack changed the meaning of security and inaugurated new terrorist practices. The incident revealed the inexperience of the German police authorities in dealing with such incidents as well as the lack of specific and capable mechanisms to deal with such events. In conjunction with the outbreak of terrorism such as IRA, ETA, etc., which can be observed in the 70s (Kathimerini reportaz, 30.09.2001) begin to emerge specific repressive forces which are able to face terrorist threats or as otherwise we call them today: asymmetrical threats.2 As far as the security of the O.G. is concerned it’s the first terrorism related incident carried out and gives impetus for specific design and security measures for the Olympic Games.
Atlanta 1996: the organization was marked by the explosion of a bomb which had been placed in the Olympic Centennial Park. The result was one dead and 110 injured. The attack was organized by Eric Robert Rudolf who was arrested in 2003. The causes still remain unclear.
The three above mentioned facts should be distinguished as to the causes and the results of attacks. In the first case the causes are social (non-terrorism), in the second political (terrorism with dead people and sportsmen and women) and in the third terrorism with dead citizens. Apart from isolated incidents related to the O.G., the issues of safety and security should be seen under the light of the overall international environment described briefly below.

International Environment

The twenty-first century did not start in the best way for the world – at least as far as peace and security were concerned.
11 September 2001. The unprecedented and appalling terrorist attack at the twin towers in New York and at the Pentagon in Washington changed dramatically the safety issues at a global level, signalling beyond any other way the appearance of “unknown” and “asymmetric” threats. (Κathimerini reportaz, 23.09.2001) After the 9/11 tragic events a series of terrorist events took place in the years 2002-2003 [indicative, bomb attacks in Tel Aviv by Hamas, suicide attack by a woman kamikaze in a concert in Moscow, etc. (OGSD, Memorandum of exercise ΄΄ASPIS IRAKLEOUS’’ ) which multiplied the anxiety of the safe performance of O. G. 2004 (Mbrekis, 2008, pp 136-137). Irrespective of the incentives that the terrorist attacks had, they created a new security environment which should be taken into account in combination with the specific features in the sensitive Balkan area. The particular geographical area was always characterized by intense nationality differences which led to territorial claims and conflicts with recent example the conflicts in the area of former Yugoslavia during the decade of the 90s. The above mentioned terrorist attacks put the authorities and systems of defence under the test while at the same time the mechanisms for dealing with terrorism became more powerful and systems of prevention and deterrence were reinforced.
In support of the above, the security measures and the operational exercises carried out in Greece in the same period intensified by the criminal prosecution authorities in cooperation with the armed forces, in the context of the new doctrine of national security of Greece, to deal with hypothetical or real 'Scenarios" of terrorist threats, according to information, notably by foreign intelligence services, for forthcoming shocks with international appeal in Greece. For example the electronic exercise readiness "LERNAIA YDRA’' or the information which was given in publicity in 29-5-2003, by the Minister of Mercantile Marine (Mr. Anomeritis), for a project of a terrorist attack of Al Qaeda terrorists with two high-speed boats in the Aegean sea against the ministers of commercial shipping and transport of the EU who were aboard the passenger ferry '’Eleutherios Venizelos" during an informal summit (a mobilization deterrence took place without labeling of vessels and terrorists).
The EU Presidency in 2003 undertaken by Greece, and the organization of the Olympic Games in 2004, contributed to Greece being rated 7th among the countries which are facing terrorist threat. It should be noted that Greece had participation in the wars of the Persian Gulf (1991), of Afghanistan (2001-2002) and Iraq (2003) resulting in being part of the circle of countries which are being under threat from Islamic terrorism (Laggaris , 2003).
Further to the above, the period after the collapse of the Soviet Union showed a vacancy of power in the region of Balkans which has led to nation/sex riots and in search for a system of security and stability in the region. The existence of several particular ethnic minorities with strong nationalism, many political and social differences and the low economic level has led to a chronic rivalry. The Balkan environment is characterized by phenomena of instability, liquidity and a series of unforeseen threats to the security. (National Ramparts, 2006, pp. 26-47, ELESME, 2006, pp.12 -16)
This international environment affected the planning of security for the Olympic Games of 2004. The forecasts of the threats were widened. The security requirements escalated and the attention focused on a greater range of risks, such as attacks, suicide bombers, air CBRN threats, simultaneously or successively massively terrorist attacks etc.
In the light of the above considerations the preparation and organization of the O.G. took place at a time in which the security was nominated as the most important parameter for its successful hosting. To ensure the maximum success the doctrine of the total security was adopted. It meant: recognition of threats, analysis, composition and prevention or remedy. The security considerations were affected/shaped by major wars, local or small area conflicts, asymmetrical threats, nuclear weapons, weapons including-agricultural destruction and non-state threats. All the above factors existed in the Balkan region other than major wars. The position of Greece, situated at a crossroads between two continents, between the West - East, North - South, in the southern part of the Balkans, by linking the Black sea with the Mediterranean, with a huge sea coastline and borders in the eastern Mediterranean, complicated further the security issues and raised the question on how should Greece make use of its resources to the greatest possible extent and to develop a national security (Platias 2002, pp. 82-87) which would lead to the successful performance of the O.G. 2004 (Ntokos, Tsakonas, 2005, pp. 21-194).
In particular with regards to the maritime area, the most important role for the preservation of the Greek but at the same time the European maritime borders in the eastern Mediterranean is played by the Hellenic Coast Guard, which institutionally is responsible to enforce the law at ports and in territorial waters throughout the Greek maritime area. The mission is challenging, as are the Greek geopolitical realities established by the following characteristics:
a) Extensive Greek coastline (around 18.400 kilometres contour and 1.150.000 square kilometres total surface area), while the total length of the external limits of the Hellenic spatial sea is 8.670 kilometres b) Many islands and island rocks, over 9,000, create an area accessible from several directions especially in the marine area
c) Dense maritime traffic in the Greek maritime area, as sailing vessels connect areas of the western Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and Europe, the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. The main policing work includes, during the last years, smuggling, illegal immigration, terrorism, organised crime, etc. Finally, it should be noted that Greece is the smallest country which ever hosted Olympic Games. Precisely because of its size, the international concern in combination with the great participation of people from all over the world, established the necessity of activation of all of the State mechanisms and forces in order to host safe Olympic Games (Mbrekis Sp., 2004, pp 127-138).
Considering all the events which were mentioned above the main objective of The Greek authorities was defined as follow: The zero tolerance in each challenge, but the restriction of threats and risks, outside the limits of the Olympic theatre, by means of addressing them in any possible stage, respecting the hard core of citizen rights and the decision making by : firstly arousing confidence of the society in security , and secondly the respect for daily activities despite the exceptional safety requirements raised by the Olympic Games, without the parallel limitations of high safety standards laid down, and finally, the respect of the institutional role of each of the service securities which were involved in The Olympic Security Institution, irrespective of the nature, the urgency of the nature, severity and / or seriousness of the facts that security would be faced to deal with, in cooperation, in most cases, with other bodies involved.