Super Bowl Security Described As Unprecedented

Security for Super Bowl XLII, to be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium Feb. 3, is being described as “unprecedented,” and will include both covert and overt measures like ATF bomb-sniffing dogs trained to ferret out liquid explosives. Although there is no specific terror threat, security officials are concerned due to the high visibility of the game and the propensity of al Qaeda to strike such targets.

But the federal government’s terrorism threat assessment of the upcoming game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants outlines concerns about stolen official law enforcement credentials, uniforms, weapons, and other equipment that could be used to “infiltrate” the stadium complex to carry out an attack.

“High-profile” events like this, which the Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center said is expected to draw over half-a-million visitors, “make [them] a desirable target for domestic or international terrorists,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) threat assessment says.

While the assessment makes clear that the Intelligence Community “has not identified a credible terrorist threat to Super Bowl XLII and its related events,” one of the three “key findings” of the nine-page threat assessment, a copy of which was obtained by, is that “the threats of greatest concern” during events like this “include individuals impersonating law enforcement and other security personnel and insiders to facilitate attacks.”

The assessment identified four incidents in which terrorists used insiders in their plotting. One of the three “scenarios of concern” outlined in the assessment is “security breaches and insider threats.”

Prepared Jan. 14 by DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis in conjunction with the FBI and Intelligence Community, the assessment described thefts of official equipment that “raised concern.”

“Numerous thefts of government and law enforcement property that could be used to facilitate unauthorized entry have been reported in Arizona,” the assessment points out. “Since October 2004 the Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center has received more than 300 reports of thefts from fire, first responder, military, and police personnel, including from those in the Phoenix area.”

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