Security is at record levels for the upcoming Super Bowl in southern California this Sunday, and the San Jose Police Dept. will investigate up to 20 threats a day in the coming week.
News reports and police announcements are replete with terms such as threats, SWAT team, bomb technicians, explosives – but the one term that is not being mentioned, yet looms darkly and constantly in the background, is: "Muslim terrorism."
Safety measures for the 50th annual Super Bowl will include 90 canine teams of bomb-sniffing dogs that have also been taught the sounds and vibrations of three different military helicopters that might need to be used in an evacuation. In addition, 80 FBI bomb technicians will be on hand with a mobile command vehicle operating remote-controlled robots that can analyze threats.
The threat of terrorism has been raised in civilian areas throughout the world following several extremist Muslim terrorist attacks this past November in Paris. At least nine terrorists from Belgium and France descended upon several targets in the city, slaughtering 130 people in restaurants, cafes, a concert hall and a stadium. The attack on the Stade de France, a French sports arena, was foiled by security guards who did not allow the terrorists to enter.
The security detail for the Super Bowl has been carefully monitoring the potential threat of a similar attack. “Particularly with the rise in internet use by terrorist groups to inspire and recruit," the FBI said in a recent report, "we are concerned about the ‘self-radicalized’ actor(s) who could strike with little or no notice.”
In April 2013, two Muslim terrorists placed bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260.
Depending on the threat that is received, security officials will decide whether to send in a SWAT team or bomb sniffing K-9’s, or one of the many security apparatuses in place. In addition to the canine units and the FBI teams, Bay Area bomb squads will be on stand-by, and there will be no-fly zones over the stadium. An F-15 will actually be on stand-by to escort a plane out if necessary.
Every event leading up to the big game over the coming week will be monitored. Sweeps for explosives will be made before each event. An Elite Merge Team from the San Jose Police Department has trained for a month with rifles and a Bearcat Rescue vehicle.
Special operations police officers have undergone intensive training in preparation for the big game. One scenario for which they have drilled for is "active shooter situations."
Fans privileged to hold tickets – the cheapest is currently valued at $2,750 – will be allowed to enter the stadium only after they pass through airport-style metal detectors. They will not be permitted to bring in alcohol, coolers, pets, drones, bikes, skateboards, hoverboards, or bags larger than 18 by 18 inches.