Super Bowl Security: The Alleged “Plot” Against the Game
- By Sydny Shepard
- Jan 19, 2016
As Super Bowl 50 approaches, government security officials are examining whether recent attacks on fiber optic systems in California could be connected to a “more complex plot” against the game.
A series of unsolved incidents, in which fiber optic cables in the Bay Area were deliberately severed, is one of several risks detailed in an internal memo shared by the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security intelligence analysts in the weeks before the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
The memo, obtained by a news team in California, says the FBI and DHA do not having any specific information on a threat towards the game, but it also details the attacks against the fiber optic systems, the threat of drones against the game and potential game-day attacks in crowded spaces just outside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the host site of the game.
At least 10 fiber optic cables have been cut between July 2014 and June 2015 and there have been 15 attacks against fiber optic lines in the region since 2014, most within a five mile radius of Levi Stadium. The FBI shared that the severed cables could show that individuals could be using the incident to test and prod at the network durability to gain information in conjunction with a more complex plot.
However, homeland security analysts caution against overreacting to such assessments.
“There’s no question that the Super Bowl would be a highly attractive target, but so would any sporting event,” said Anthony Cordesman, a security strategist for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.