Sunday, 9 September 2007

OPEN GOAL

OPEN GOAL

Exclusive by Daniel Jones and Muhamed Veliu
The biggest ever security operation at Wembley was yesterday exposed as a shambles after we walked in with a replica bomb - AGAIN.
Cops boasted they had thrown a ring of steel round the ground for England's crunch tie against top al-Qaeda target, Israel.
But a People reporter posing as a stadium worker strolled in with NO checks carrying a terrifyingly lifelike bomb.
Had it been real, it would have caused carnage among the 90,000 spectators, players and VIPs at the crucial European qualifier - and been seen by tens of millions of TV viewers worldwide.
And shockingly, the security breach comes just four months after we took ANOTHER fake bomb to the FA Cup Final at the same venue.
We did the SAME thing just six weeks later when Princes William and Harry joined a galaxy of stars paying tribute to their mum at the Concert for Diana.
Yesterday's farce comes only days before the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities.
Our reporter got a job with stadium caterers Delaware North Companies - just like we did for May's Cup Final.
He gave DNC chiefs false details about his bank and GP - but no one followed them up.
He also gave two pals as references - but they were not contacted either.
Dnc or Wembley officials could simply have typed our reporter's distinctive name into an internet search engine to discover that he was really a journalist.
Crowds who flocked to the £757million stadium for yesterday's match had to go through rigorous searches to get in.
But our man did not even have to show his ID as he strolled into the complex carrying a rucksack.
The bag contained a clear box packed with plasticine - which closely resembles the high explosive Semtex. It also contained wires and a timer.
Our reporter was told to man a food stand - but amazingly staff did not know which one.
Instead, he was able to suggest going wherever he wanted and picked a spot near where another reporter, posing as a spectator, was sitting.
The colleague could easily have been an accomplice if he had been a real terrorist.
Our man could even have asked to work near the Royal Box on Level Two - as a People reporter had done during our FA Cup bomb story.
Security expert Charles Shoebridge said last night: "Major sporting events are attractive targets for a terrorist seeking maximum civilian casualties, particularly with the international publicity that live TV guarantees.
"Israel and its interests are the No1 target for Islamist terrorists.
"And in many ways an attack on a UK game would be much easier than on Israel itself."
He added: "Poor vetting and searching of staff - particularly temporary staff with possible access to targets such as VIPs - is recognised as one of the major vulnerabilities which an event like this can face."
There were around 500 police - including armed teams - and 6,000 stewards on duty at Fortress Wembley yesterday.
A new hi-tech control room with a bank of monitors linked to CCTV cameras allowed cops all-round surveillance inside and outside the stadium.
Airspace above the ground was restricted and vehicles were banned from the area.
But the ease of our security breach made a mockery of the multi-million-pound operation.
A Wembley spokesman last night pledged an investigation.
He said: "We do not take anything more seriously than peoples' lives and the security of this building."

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