Residents of East London are worrying that they will be made terrorist targets after receiving letters from the Ministry of Defense announcing that high-velocity missiles (HVMs) may be attached to their roofs as a security measure during this summer’s Olympic Games.
Residents of the Bow Quarter – a complex of around 700 apartments near the Olympic Park – is the first of several other nearby areas that will be fitted with rooftop missiles as part of a strategy to prevent an airborne terrorist attack during the Games.
These missiles can accelerate to three times faster than the speed of sound within 1,300 feet after launch and have a range of more than 3 miles. They’re part of the British government’s £1 billion ($1.6 billion) security plan to protect the Olympic Games this summer from potential attacks. They will be tested in a six-day trial starting on Wednesday.
One resident of the complex told the Guardian: “It’s rather surreal … It is an example of the insane world we live in post-9/11. I don’t think anyone here feels more secure because of this … The question is, will this make us a target?”
Daily Telegraph journalist Neil Midgley, who lives in the complex, described his surprise at the juxtaposition: “It came as something of a shock, given that the Bow Quarter is a leafy — some would say sleepy — gated enclave. The people who normally dwell in our 700-odd flats are Canary Wharf bankers, creative types and young families.”