Paris : Drones are a threat to the Paris Olympics. So, the 2024 Games prepares for all kinds of dangers with ''unrivalled'' measures.

It may be a long way from any battlefield but the 2024 Paris Olympics is preparing for the threat of a drone attack with what one official calls ''unrivalled measures.''

Fear of terror attack has haunted every Olympic host nation for half a century since Palestinian gunmen took members of the Israeli team hostage during the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

The last terror act at an Olympics was in Atlanta in 1996 when a pipe bomb exploded as revellers enjoyed a rock concert. Two people were killed and more than 100 injured in the attack, for which a US extremist was jailed.

But the use of civilian drones by armed and criminal groups in recent year poses a new and high-tech nightmare scenario for Olympic organisers.

''It's really something we are taking very seriously, we've been working on it for a long time,'' a senior French official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

A part of warfare for years, drones have become a defining feature of the Ukraine conflict, deployed on a scale never seen before to carry out both surveillance and strikes.

''The hybridisation of civilian drones for military or terrorist use is not new, as we can see in Ukraine among other places,'' Thibault Fouillet, a historian and a researcher at the Paris-bound Foundation for Strategic Research, said.

''The risk can be transposed to the Olympic Games, it's no fantasy.''

The unprecedented opening ceremony planned for the 2024 Paris Olympics already poses a serious security headache.

The plan to take the ceremony out of its customary location in the main stadium and place it in the heart of the capital, with sporting delegations sailing down the river Seine in boats.

Drones are ''very clearly a matter of high priority'', the senior official said.

''THE OLYMPIC Games are an ideal showcase, 'shown' live around the world, and naturally the security services are working on all the scenarios to prevent a possible attack.''

Nevertheless, on top of concerns about overall security and budget worries for the Paris Games - set to be a centrepiece of President Emmanuel Macron's second term - there have been questions about its preparedness for dealing with a drone attack. [AFP]


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