Shanghai police swoops thwart stadium terrorist plot

2008-07-25 00:25:16 GMT       2008-07-25 08:25:16 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 25 -- Shanghai police have halted a group of terrorists who planned to attack a football venue in the Olympic co-host city.

"We obtained information that international terrorist organizations were likely to launch an attack against an Olympics venue in the city during the Games," said Cheng Jiulong, Shanghai Public Security Bureau deputy director and head of the Shanghai security office for the Games.

Cheng said police staged raids and nabbed the terrorists. He would not provide further details such as when the terrorists were found, how many suspects were detained and their origins.

"According to information we have obtained, the Olympics venue, athletes' apartments and routes leading to the venue are considered safe," he said. "However, the threat of terrorism remains as some international terrorist organizations have threatened to launch attacks against the city.''

To prepare for the Olympic soccer events, police have left no stone unturned in the crackdown on security.

Shanghai Stadium has been closed for security checks since July 20, with both police and armed police conducting round-the-clock patrols.

Safety checks at key locations, such as Shanghai Stadium and the Xujiahui commercial center, would be intense, Cheng said.

He also said police would use special methods to prevent congestion at the entrances to Shanghai Stadium, which is expected to receive about 52,000 spectators for each match.

"Spectators with bags will be guided to special safety check points,'' he said. "This will improve the flow of people entering the stadium.''

Security personnel will work around the clock at the hotels where athletes will stay.

"Every team will be provided with a security liaison officer who will accompany the team while they are in the city and respond to their safety demands at any time,'' Cheng said.

In addition, railway police have stepped up security checks by requiring passengers to open drink bottles and take a sip - a surefire way to detect any dangerous liquids.

The beefed-up measures have already helped to stop some people from carrying flammable liquids, such as oil paint, on trains, according to the railway police authority. Passengers carrying dangerous goods on board will face criminal charges.

On Wednesday, city police announced rewards ranging from 10,000 yuan (US$1,464) to 500,000 yuan for information relating to serious crime.

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

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