NEWS

No Credible Terrorism Threats to Super Bowl, Although Vulnerabilities Exist, Says Intel Assessment

By Matthew Harwood

U.S. intelligence officials have found no credible terrorism threat to Super Bowl XLIII, scheduled for February 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Nevertheless, the Associated Press reports that a joint intelligence assessment from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security identified some security gaps.

[The assessment] cautions that Raymond James Stadium, the Super Bowl site, does not have the typical security features of permanently secure buildings and arenas.

The report, dated Tuesday, says possible attackers could be deterred by the posting of hundreds of visible security officials, barriers and other measures.

Officials are also concerned that terrorists or criminals could impersonate government or military officials because some Florida law enforcement badges and uniforms were stolen in 2008. The report says there is no credible information about impersonation plots.

The concern is that terrorists will find one of the world's most popular sporting events an attractive target. It wouldn't be the first time terrorists attacked a mass gathering. In November, a suicide bomber detonated himself near a stadium in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing four people and injuring 11. The attack came at the closing ceremony of the Inter-Provincial Games.

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