World Cup organizers in Qatar have enlisted the help of the RAF to guard against the threat of terrorist attacks during the course of the tournament, which will run until mid-December. Qatar has drafted additional security measures from 16 nations around the world, including the UK, as part of a comprehensive plan to keep stadiums safe and minimize the danger to fans from potential terrorist events.
The British government is sharing knowledge with Qatar for the duration of the World Cup, according to Yo, while a number of RAF Typhoon aircraft have been earmarked to join their Qatari counterparts on air patrols. American SWAT teams have also been present in the country since the start of the tournament and will likely be at Al Bayt Stadium when England take on the USA on Friday night.
Riot police and sniffer dogs from France and Turkey have also been called in by decision-makers at the World Cup, with many security forces meeting a month before the tournament began to hold drills and plan their approach to ensuring maximum protection for match fans, team members and journalists alike. Other countries and regions supplying personnel to Qatar are said to include Germany, Finland, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Security in Qatar is believed to be at its highest possible level at present, with the world’s attention riveted on the Gulf nation as the World Cup plays out in the coming weeks. There has been a significant police and security presence at every group stage match so far, with fans having to go through airport-style scanners before being subjected to bag searches.
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The UK government has already warned travelers that terrorists may attempt to carry out attacks in Qatar during the World Cup, although the risk of a large-scale event is believed to be low as it stands. Security expert Will Geddes recently played down the threat of fans being attacked by attackers when asked about it by Metro, saying: “Qatar is a reasonably safe place given that it’s a small country and it’s quite easy to control that environment. .
“The Qataris not only have their internal security, but they have brought in advisers and security personnel from the US and the UK to help them. One thing that can be said about Qatar is that they can throw money at security, which makes it very difficult for anyone to carry out an attack with any degree of sophistication.
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“Obviously, they will be very aware of the fact that they are now under the world’s scrutiny when they have long strived to be the equivalent of Dubai. If they get it wrong, it will not help them on their journey to try to raise their profile.
“The authorities will monitor the crowds, including covert monitoring of behavior and indicators, they will have a lot of technology that they already have that they will have brought in specifically for the World Cup process. This will be across the board, from monitoring CCTV cameras to communication networks. It is a safe assumption that this will be the most closely watched World Cup in history.”
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