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|August 29, 2000||
Bomb plot untrue, says security chief
The head of security for the Sydney Olympics said on Monday a reported plot to blow up Australia's only nuclear reactor during the games had been exaggerated and he did not think there was any threat.
In an interview with NBC's "Today" show, New South Wales Police Commissioner Peter Ryan, who is in charge of security for the Olympics, said as far as he was aware there was no threat to the nuclear power station or the Sydney games.
New Zealand police were probing an immigration racket involving Afghan refugees when they stumbled on plans that appeared to point to an attack on the Lucas Heights research nuclear reactor on the outskirts of Sydney during next month's games.
"They had in their possession a street plan of Sydney and unfortunately because a line drawn on the map between Botany Bay and Sydney was near to the nuclear power station, people drew the inference that they were, in fact, planning to attack the power station, which is completely untrue as far as we can tell," Ryan told NBC.
He described the Afghan refugee group as an Islamic group allegedly involved so far only in the illegal immigration of people, money laundering and other activities, but "certainly not terrorism."
Asked if there was any need to shut down the reactor, which is used for medical and other research, Ryan said it was up to the Australian government to make that decision.
"All I can say is that the story about these people in New Zealand has certainly been exaggerated and as far as we are aware ... there is no threat to the nuclear power station or the Sydney Games."
Ryan said about 72 countries had contributed their intelligence for the games, adding that while security would be tight visitors would not see troops walking around the streets with machine guns.
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