Romney right to question safety at Olympics?

International security expert Aaron Cohen raises concerns


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 27, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, security expert Aaron Cohen says that the U.K. might not like what Mitt Romney said, but he only said what a lot of fellow security experts fear.

Aaron, I think you are right about that, because guys like you and in Britain itself, the mayor of London himself had been the first to remind people about this security lapse. So I don't know why it was a Fox alert or any news alert. What Romney was saying was he was echoing what he heard from London officials.

But, be that as it may, are you concerned for these Olympics?

AARON COHEN, FOUNDER, IMS SECURITY: I am concerned for the Olympics.

And the reason -- look, what we saw with Governor Mitt Romney or what he said, I mean, it's -- the truth is, is that people in my business are going to agree with him. And it is a fact. And I am concerned and experts are concerned, because, Neil, there was a colossal failure with the security leading up to the Olympics.

And that involved the failure to produce the physical screener -- this company G4S ended up falling short thousands of guards. And that led to a major debacle, which in fact could ultimately affect the safety of potentially the largest terrorist target that we are looking at right now.

CAVUTO: What do they do and what do guys like you watch for them to do throughout these next two weeks?

COHEN: Well, I think at this phase right now, it comes down to the physical ability and training of the manpower providing the screening in conjunction with an undercover surveillance detection layer, which works -- ends up working very closely in conjunction to be able to preempt potential attacks.

And it really comes down to properly trained guys. And I think that, again, what the governor was trying to bring out, which is true, is that we are dealing with a very emotional state, because we have an event that is wrapped around security. And it is not the other way around. It is a huge target.

So I think the main thing is that physical layer of screening and making sure that those screeners were, A., there and that there was enough manpower and, B., that they were properly trained.

CAVUTO: You know, the last memorable event, horrible event, in Munich in 1972, where the Israeli squad was targeted and killed by the PLO, we have taken a number safeguards since in every quadrennial Olympics since to avoid that sort of thing. Have we?

COHEN: I believe that the security -- I mean, look, obviously, the Israelis were targeted by Islamist extremists.

I think the entire world has been tactically leveled now, as we have seen after 9/11. So Israel obviously is not alone. And this type of terror now affects the Western world, Christians, Jews.

And so the Olympics are clearly -- they have been targeted before. They are absolutely a target now at this point.

I think a lot has been taken from the security and from what we have seen with that Munich massacre, but, again, the undertaking of the security undertaking for this type of event is such a colossal deal, that there really has to be all that quality work done in the preparation phase.

CAVUTO: Right.

COHEN: And that is where the failure was.


COHEN: I think that not having the adequate manpower, not having them trained properly, having these screeners cheating on exams, only a 75 percent pass rate, it is a problem.

And you can't have these kind of problems when you're talking about an event of this size.

CAVUTO: All right, Aaron, thank you. Hope they get overall of that and have corrected it.

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