Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, speaking in the aftermath of the explosions that ripped through the Boston Marathon on Monday, indicated that some major events may prove virtually impossible to secure against threats.
Rendell called the explosions that left at least two dead and more than 100 persons injured “nauseating.” But while authorities should do everything possible to secure such events, he said, it may be impossible to completely secure some types of venues “unless we’re going to have every fan go through a magnetometer.”
“And of course, there was no way to do that at the marathon,” Rendell said. “He might have gone out at 5 in the morning and planted these bombs. You just don’t know.”
Rendell said in an exclusive Newsmax interview that outdoor activities spanning large distances – races, marches, high-profile victory parades for professional sporting team -- are extremely difficult to lock down.
“If there’s a bomb threat at a basketball game, the police can sweep the arena in 45 minutes to an hour, because it is a contained space,” he said. “Even in a football stadium, you could probably sweep it in a couple of hours. But to sweep the route of a marathon would take days.”
Even having a police officer stationed each tenth of a mile along the entire 26.2 mile length of a marathon would not necessarily provide complete security, the Pennsylvania Democrat said.
“And what would the policemen do?” Rendell asked. “Are we going to have bomb-sniffing dogs along the entire route? There are some things we can’t secure.”
Indoor events don’t face nearly as many security issues, he said.
“We’ve found a pretty good way, not a foolproof way, to secure airplanes. We secure [an area] when the president comes in to speak, by making everyone go through magnetometers. But there are some things we can’t secure – ever,” said Rendell.
Rendell said he spoke earlier today with the owner of a major sports franchise in another part of the country, who said he was planning to beef up security at an upcoming event following the attack on Boston’s iconic marathon.
“Right now we can just shake our heads,” said Rendell, “ … and hope and pray that the injured victims pull through.”
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