Security Guard Arrested Near London 2012 Olympic Stadium

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A view of the London 2012 Olympic stadium, in London, Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tom Hevezi/AP

And so it begins: with the countdown to the next Olympic Games well and truly on, a disturbing reminder of the “new normal” has come with a guard being arrested on the suspicion of possessing explosives. (via BBC)

The woman is a 40-year-old dog handler, and was detained after her vehicle was searched by police, after a tip-off. Thankfully, the immediate thought that this was terror-related was dismissed by authorities who went on to reassure the public that the site’s safety wasn’t at risk.

(More on See pictures of London building for the 2012 Olympics)

She was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possessing both an explosive substance and Class A drugs. It appears that trained dogs played a key role. A spokesman for Olympics security provider G4S said, “Our canine services team is licensed to hold small samples of explosives for training purposes and are required to undertake rigorous training and follow strict operational processes.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Olympic Delivery Authority said that, “There are robust measures to ensure the safety and security of the Olympic Park …  At no point has the safety and security of the Olympic Park been put at risk.”

(More on A London 2012 progress report)

Rather ironically, the arrest was made on the same day that building work was completed at the £486m ($782m) Olympic Stadium. It’s not surprising that the authorities were vigilant as pretty much every high-profile sporting event can be considered a perfect platform for global terrorism. If this is the worst incident that takes place in London, organizers will breath a sigh of relief.