American Swat (special weapons and tactics) teams have been deployed at World Cup venues as part of the tournament’s vast security detail, NSEMGH can reveal.
Qatar has drafted in security personnel from around 13 countries, including the UK. The British government is sharing knowledge with the Gulf state throughout the tournament, while Royal Air Force Typhoons are joining Qatari planes on air patrols.
NSEMGH has learned that Swat teams have been present at some stadiums, complementing the multiple security groups from many of the participating countries. It is likely they will be at England’s game against the USA at the Al Bayt Stadium on Friday.
Qatari sources told NSEMGH, that with the number of heads of state and high-profile individuals visiting Doha and attending games during the tournament, plus the threat from terrorism that comes with major global sporting events, security is at the highest level.
The Qatari government called in Turkish riot police and gendarmes from France, who also sent sniffer dogs, to assist with policing the more than one million visitors the country is expecting for the World Cup. Some of the various security forces met a month before the tournament was set to begin to run through drills and procedures.
Other countries supplying support personnel include Germany, Finland, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Saudi Arabia.
Alongside air support, the UK has also provided Royal Navy personnel to assist with maritime security and to offer specialist knowledge. The RAF’s involvement is part of counter-terrorism efforts. The US also signed a deal with Qatar’s Ministry of Defence to support with defence against drones and other unmanned aerial threats.
Nato, meanwhile, supported the training to deal with chemical, biological and nuclear threats.
The Qatari security personnel and police presence is notable when attending games at the tournament. There is extensive CCTV at each of the eight stadiums, which is monitored in a central command centre.
Everyone attending matches and training venues must pass through airport-style scanners, while bags are sent through X-ray machine.