2012 London Olympics: Missiles to be put on rooftop to defend the summer Games (PHOTOS)


An Olympic 'torch bearer' holds a London 2012 Olympic torch in Kew Gardens on April 18, 2012 in London, England.


Oli Scarff

Surface-to-air missiles might be placed on a tower in a densely populated London neighborhood as part of security for the Olympic Games this summer.

Residents in the east London community have received leaflets warning them of what might happen, according to CNN. An official from the British Ministry of Defense said "site evaluations and exercises have taken place."

The announcement shocked residents of the Bow Quarter housing development — a red-brick Victorian match factory converted into an upscale gated apartment complex — as this is the first time these types of missiles have been deployed in London since the end of World War II, reported Reuters.

"There was no consultation, no one knocked on the door," Brian Whelan, a 28-year-old journalist, told Reuters. "You just wake up one morning, there's a leaflet telling you they are going to put missiles on the roof."

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In the leaflet, the ministry said the building's rooftop offered an uncluttered "view of the surrounding areas and the entire sky above the Olympic park," according to CBC News. Tests are planned for next week at the building, where troops will determine if the high velocity surface-to-air missiles will be placed on the roof's water tower.

According to The Telegraph, a Ministry of Defense spokesman said: "As announced before Christmas, ground-based air defense systems could be deployed as part of a multi-layered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the Games.

"Based on military advice we have identified a number of sites and, alongside colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, are talking to local authorities and relevant landowners to help minimize the impact of any temporary deployments."

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