Wednesday 26 July 2017

After the shambles at Old Trafford, horrific attack on Euros is a real possibility

French police and firemen wearing chemical protective suits take part in a mock chemical attack exercise at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, France, in preparation of security measures for the UEFA 2016 European Championship. REUTERS/Robert Pratta/File Photo
French police and firemen wearing chemical protective suits take part in a mock chemical attack exercise at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, France, in preparation of security measures for the UEFA 2016 European Championship. REUTERS/Robert Pratta/File Photo
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

On the evening of last November 13, the idea of suicide bombers targeting a packed stadium was the stuff of nightmares and pulp fiction. By midnight, 130 people lay dead in Paris, the nightmare had become a reality and a new Rubicon had been crossed.

The events of that night, outside the Stade de France, just before a France-Germany friendly, chilled the blood of every observer. A lone suicide bomber had attempted to gain access to the crowded stands, where he planned to detonate his vest. That in itself would have killed dozens, but the plan was to force a panicked evacuation onto the streets outside the stadium, where another two suicide bombers were lying in wait to mingle with the crowds before detonating their own vests, which would have caused immeasurable loss of life.

On that occasion, an efficient but rather unfortunate security guard patting the 'fan' down discovered the vest and the attacker blew himself up before he got into the ground proper.

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