Sport and Terrorism

Sport and Terrorism       
Prepared by  Prepared by: Chris Hume and Christine May, Senior Research Consultants, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Professor Tracey Taylor, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), School of Business. (May 2017).
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 20 October 2017
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The terrorist attack during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games signalled that sport could be a target for violent political or social extremism. Since that time a number of sporting events around the world have been targeted by terrorists and this has led to a heightened focus upon risk management and security planning. 

Key Messages 


Sporting events have been targeted by terrorists dating back to the 1972 Munich Olympic Games


Governments at all levels now play a significant role in major sporting events, especially from a security perspective.


Critical Incident Management planning is an important tool for any sporting body that organises or attends large scale events.

Terrorism Definitions 

There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes 'terrorism'. However, broadly speaking, terrorism is the deliberate and systematic use of violence and intimidation where the actions are intended to achieve or to influence a political, religions, or ideological aim. Terrorist acts are also normally directed against civilians or non-combatants.

The term 'terrorism' was first used in the 1700's to describe the actions of the Jacobins during the French Revolution 'Reign of Terror'. However, arguably, 'terrorist' style acts have been perpetrated for as long as there have been political and ideological disputes. 

In Australia acts of terrorism are offences under the Criminal Code Act 1995. A ‘terrorist act’ is defined as an actionor threat of actionthat is intended to coerce or intimidate the public or any government to advance a political, religious, or ideological cause; and that causes:

  • death, serious harm or endangers a person (other than the person committing the act);
  • serious damage to property;
  • a serious risk to the health or safety of the public; or
  • seriously interferes with, disrupts or destroys critical infrastructure such as a telecommunications or electricity networks.
A terrorist act does not cover engaging in advocacy, protest, dissent, or industrial action where a person does not have the intention to urge force or violence or cause harm to others.

The Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 came into force in 2003. It was designed to enhance the Commonwealth's ability to combat terrorism and treason, and for related purposes. As such it:  

  • defined a ‘terrorist act’;
  • introduced offences that criminalise acts involving the planning and committing of a terrorist act;
  • introduced offences that criminalise a person’s involvement or association with a terrorist organisation; and
  • gave the Attorney-General the power to proscribe (ban) a terrorist organisation.

Sport and its associated large scale events are now seen as potential targets for terrorist activities for a number of reasons. These may include:

  • providing an international platform;
  • providing a mass media focus;
  • the association of sport with national identity; and
  • providing an avenue to harm international sponsor brands. 
Manchester United appoint full-time counter-terrorism manager, Simon Stone, BBC sport, (18 January 2017).  Manchester United say they are the first sports club in England to appoint a full-time counter-terrorism manager. The post has been filled by a former inspector from Greater Manchester Police's specialist search unit. The appointment comes amid significant additional security measures introduced at Old Trafford on match days.

Parliamentary report turns spotlight on security issue hanging heavy over Paris Olympic bid, David Owen, Inside the Games, (12 July 2016). Discusses the conclusions of a a 300-page French Parliamentary investigation into last year’s terrorist attacks in the French capital which killed 147 people. Security is probably the single biggest doubt assailing the Paris bid as it aims to win the right to stage the Games for a third time. The French city’s phase one Olympic candidature file said the risk of terrorism was “assessed as high”.

Sporting events, particularly those on a global level, have increasingly become targets; in so much as they will attract the attention of the world to the particular terrorist cause. The hostage taking events of the 1972 Munich Games was the first time a large scale sporting event was used to highlight such a political cause. Since this time the focus on risk mitigation and security planning for major events has increased exponentially.

  • AOC signs agreement with AFP for safety and security advice. Australian Olympic Committee media release, (17 October 2017). The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has signed an agreement with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to provide advice on the security and safety for all the Teams the AOC will send away through to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Australia hires private security firm on standby for Rio, Samantha Lane, Sydney Morning Herald, (8 July 2016). The Australian Olympic Committee has become so concerned about security in Rio it has seen fit to hire a private firm to be on standby to protect the national team in the games' host city.

The public visibility, global television and media coverage (both traditional and social), and symbolic representation of major sporting eventsfor example the Olympic Games, World Cup football, or the NFL Super Bowlcreates a potential 'perfect storm' for terrorism events. 

Atkinson and Young (2002) provide a general explanation of the nexus between sport and terrorism:

For many reasons, individual terrorists or terrorist organisations might find suitable targets in athletes participating in games, spectators attending the events, or selected corporate sponsors of sports contests. Especially in those situations where athletic contests draw sizeable international audiences in geographical settings already embroiled in strife, sport can be utilised as a vehicle for political sparring, and waging and disseminating forms of political violence against others. [Atkinson and Young, Terror games: Media treatment of security issues at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games (PDF  - 192 KB), Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies, 2002, p.54.]


Between the 1972 attack at the Munich Olympic Games and 2003 there were an estimated 168 different realized and thwarted terrorist acts around the world targeting sports events [source: Taylor & Toohey, Perceptions of terrorism threats at the 2004 Olympic Games: implications for sports eventsJournal of Sport and Tourism (2007)]. Some of these events include:

  • 1972 Munich, Germany. The Palestinian militant group Black September took the Israeli national team hostage during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. After a 16-hour stand-off and failed rescue all 11 athletes and coaches, one German police officer, and all of the attackers were confirmed dead. 
  • 1986 Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A bomb exploded at the headquarters of the 1992 candidature committee in Amsterdam, allegedly the responsibility of the 'Into the Blue Commando of the Revolutionary Cells' in a protest against Amsterdam's bid for the 1992 Games. There were no casualties. 
  • 1987 South Korea. Korean Air Flight 858 was destroyed in flight when a bomb hidden in an overhead compartment was detonated. All 104 passengers and 11 crew were killed. The attack was designed, in part, to disrupt the lead up to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. 
  • 1996 Atlanta, USA. Eric Rudolph planted a knapsack with three bombs underneath a bench in the Centennial Olympic park at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Two people were killed and 120 injured when the blast went off.  
  • 1997 Liverpool, UK. The Grand National horse race was evacuated after two coded bomb threats were reportedly received from the IRA but no spectators were hurt. The event took place two days later. 
  • 1997 Sweden. Two bomb and several arson attacks around Stockholm, which damaged stadiums and other sports facilities, occurred in August/September. The group claiming responsibility were aiming to disrupt/oppose Sweden's proposal to host the 2004 Olympic & Paralympic Games. 
  • 2002 Karachi, Pakistan. The New Zealand national cricket team's hotel was targeted by a suicide bomber, killing 11 French navy experts, two Pakistanis, and the team’s physiotherapist. 
  • 2002 Madrid, Spain. E.T.A., a Basque separatist group, detonated a car bomb close to Madrid's main stadium just hours before the start of Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final match against Barcelona. 17 people were injured. A bomb threat in 2004 also forced Real Madrid's match against Real Sociedad to be abandoned. 
  • 2006 Iraqi Olympic Team. In the lead up to the 2006 Olympic Games the Iraqi team were targeted three times. On 17 May, 15 taekwondo athletes and staff members were kidnapped while travelling to a competition in Jordan. They were never released or heard from again. On 26 May, the Iraq tennis coach and two players were killed by gunmen. Lastly, on 15 July, the head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee and 37 officials and athletes were kidnapped. Of these, only 13 were seen again.  
  • 2008 Waliweriaya, Sri Lanka. A dozen people were killed and almost 100 injured when a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonated an explosion at the start of the New Year Marathon. 
  • 2008 Mauritania. The Dakar Rally was cancelled due to a security threat from al Qaeda. The decision was based on safety warnings from the French government and threats received directly by the race organisers. When the rally resumed in 2009 it was moved to South America. 
  • 2009 Lahore, Pakistan. Roughly a dozen gunmen with guns, rockets, and grenades attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team bus and their police escorts. Eight people were killed and six injured. 
  • 2010 Cabinda, Angola. An Angolan separatist group attacked the Togo football team bus at the African Cup of Nations, killing 3 people.
  • 2010 Pakistan. A suicide bomber killed at least 105 people and injured over 100 when he drove a vehicle filled with explosives into a community volleyball match in NW Pakistan. 
  • 2010 Africa. A variety of attacks against crowds of people watching the World Cup occurred in Uganda and Somalia. At least 75 people were killed and over 70 injured in the combined attacks. Responsibility for the Somalia attacks was claimed by the Hizbul Al Islam group who claimed that gathering to watch the World Cup violated Islamic law. 
  • 2013 Boston, USA. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, apparently motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs, set off two pressure cooker bomb devices at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Three spectators were killed and 264 injured. 
  • 2015 Stade du France. Three suicide bombers detonated devices outside the Parisian Stade de France while France were playing Germany in an international football friendly. 1 bystander and the three bombers were killed. The attack was part of a broader series of coordinated terrorist attacks that killed 130 people and injured 368 in total. 

[sources: November 2015 Paris attacksWikipedia (May 2017); A history of terrorism and (1 December 2015); Terrorism and the Olympics: Background Report, (PDF  - 451 KB), START: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, (July 2012); Sport Terrorism: a deadly game, Bliss, S., Global Education NSW/Geodate, (March 2011)]

In the modern era it has become accepted that terrorists will continue to target large, and even smaller scale, sporting events because the events provide a highly visible platform with concentrated audiences, both on-site and via media channels.

From a risk management perspective it is important to ensure adequate funding for managing security risk at major events. For example the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games are currently budgeting $140 million for security costs [source: Ahead of the Games: edition 3 (PDF  - 5.6 MB), February 2016]. In May 2017 the Australian Government announced an additional $34.2 million from 2017–18 to 2018–19 to fund the Australian Defence Force (ADF) security services to support the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games [source: Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games – additional Australian Government support announcement, Department of Health, 9 May 2017]. 

Security and counter-terrorism strategies are now established as key themes in the staging of sport mega-events. And there is a fine balance between ensuring security of events while not significantly impacting on the spectators’ enjoyment.  

As part of the bidding process major events owners, such as the IOC and FIFA, highlight the significant requirements for countries/cities seeking the events to be able to manage large scale security operations and potential terrorist threats. This planning involves both the bid city as well as the national government in order to provide the level of planning and budget required for the events.

The Olympic Games Framework for the 2024 Olympiad (PDF  - 14.7 MB) states: 

Ensuring the safe and peaceful celebration of the Olympic Games is the responsibility of the relevant authorities of the host country, through coordinated planning and organisation with the OCOG [Organising Committee for the Olympic Games]. The host country authorities should work closely with the host city, OCOG and NOC [National Olympic Committee] to provide all the required services, including all financial, planning and operational aspects, to ensure the safety and security of all those involved in the Olympic Games.

For Olympic & Paralympic Games hosts planning and delivery of security should envisage a multi-agency strategy with all government ministries, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders involved. Typically these entities include the OCOG, the home affairs ministry, the ministry of defence, intelligence agencies, cyber-security agencies, the police, and immigration and/or customs agencies. The strategy should define the specific roles and responsibilities of each of the security stakeholders. Generally the OCOG takes responsibility for security inside the venue perimeter, whereas the police or other agencies take responsibility for security outside the perimeter.

It is important to minimise disruption to the normal running of the host city’s police and other security services while delivering a safe and secure event. When planning the security of the Olympic & Paralympic Games, it is important to screen and protect the entire supply chain of goods which requires close integration with the logistics department.

As part of the IOC Report of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of the 2020 Olympiad (PDF  - 290 KB), the following covered security issues for the Tokyo bid:

The National Government will assume ultimate operational and financial responsibility for Games security. Government agencies involved in security planning and operations will cover their own financial costs (underwritten by the National Government). Good coordination exists between all security agencies and Games command and control arrangements are clear with a single chain of command under the Cabinet-level “Tokyo Olympic Games Council”. The Superintendent General of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) will have overall operational command and would form an Olympic Security Command Centre coordinating the following bodies, all of which have submitted guarantees to the IOC:

  • OCOG Security Department
  • TMPD
  • Japan Coast Guard
  • Tokyo Fire Department
  • Japan Self-Defence Forces

The Games will involve over 50,000 security personnel, including 14,000 private security officers to be trained by the TMPD. The OCOG will cover the cost of these security guards and venue security equipment. If additional security resources are required, the TMPD and the National Government will underwrite the costs for both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games. Venue designers and security departments will work closely together as part of the operational aspect of the Tokyo 2020 Security Protection Plan.

  • London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy, (PDF  -  602 KB), UK Home Office, (March 2011). This document, first published in July 2009, set out the vision, aim, and objectives for a single Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy for the Government, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the police service, and all other key delivery agencies. 

In relation to FIFA events the host country/association agrees, by signing the hosting agreement, to:

assume full responsibility for the operation of all security matters relating to the competition, at all sites and venues, at Host City airports and principal train stations, and, in respect of representatives of national governments, the FIFA delegation, the teams, and the match officials, during the time the members of such groups are present in the host country for purposes directly relating to the competition, whether in preparation for the competition, or whether during the competition period. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the host association to employ occupationally competent and trained persons to fulfil the duties required for event safety and security management and operations. This includes national security officers, stadium/venue security officers, stadium stewards and private security.

The FIFA Security Division also provides expert and specialist advice regarding safety and security at major events.

  • FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations (PDF  -  783 KB), FIFA. These regulations are intended to make organisers of FIFA events aware of their duties and responsibilities before, during, and after matches in relation to safety and security at the stadium. These regulations contain the minimum safety and security measures that event organisers and stadium authorities must take to ensure safety, security, and order at the stadium. LOCs/event organisers, associations and clubs/stadium authorities must take all reasonable measures necessary to ensure safety and security at the stadium. LOCs/event organisers, associations and clubs/stadium authorities are responsible for the behaviour and competence of the persons entrusted with the organisation of a FIFA event

Major sporting events, such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, world championships, and major tournaments (e.g. football or cricket) are familiar with implementing robust security to the point where millionsor billions as in the case of the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Olympicsof dollars are spent to secure the event. However, it may now be the case that less prestigious sporting events may have to implement much tighter security, at a cost, due to the threat of terrorism. 

  • Hockey Fans Decry Long Lines, Increased Security, Andy Berg, Athletic Business, (October 2017). In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, safety is on everyone’s minds. But isn’t there a balance between security and inconvenience?
Major Sporting Events Taskforce. The Taskforce was established to coordinate the Australian Government’s involvement in the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup, the 2015 Netball World Cup and the forthcoming 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The Taskforce will coordinate across key stakeholders such as State/Territory governments, the New Zealand Government (in the case of the Cricket World Cup) and work closely with the Organising Committees to implement operational support across a range of areas including security, immigration, customs, intellectual property, tourism, and communications.

Federal Legislation

Frameworks and Guidelines

  • Australian Government Physical Security Management Guidelines: event securityAttorney-General's Department (April 2015). Assists Australian Government agencies to apply a consistent approach to protective security measures when protecting the people attending a planned event and the information and physical assets needed for the event. These guidelines also outline the Australian Government event levels used to determine who has overall responsibility for an event.
  • Australian National Security website. The Australian government's portal on national security. Includes agencies, legislation, list of terrorist groups, assessments and travel warnings. Potentially relevant guidelines available to download from the Publications area include: 
    • Active Shooter Guidelines for Places of Mass Gathering: 2nd edition (2015). Aims to increase understanding of the threat that active shooter incidents pose and seeks to illustrate the key role that the private sector can play in developing and implementing informed prevention, preparedness, response and recovery arrangements to reduce the risks posed by such a threat.
    • Improvised Explosive Device Guidelines for Places of Mass Gathering (2016). Helps people who own or operate places of mass gathering to be more aware of the threat that IED incidents pose. They also provide guidance on the issues and options to consider during risk mitigation and contingency planning activities.
    • National guidelines for the protection of places of mass gatherings from terrorism (2011). Developed to ensure that all Australian jurisdictions take a nationally consistent approach to developing their own guidelines for the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism.
    • National guidelines for the protection of critical infrastructure from terrorism (2015). Provides the framework for a national, consistent approach for governments and business in protecting critical infrastructure.

Queensland Government

From 4 to 15 April 2018, the XXI Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Over 11 days of competition, 6,600 athletes and officials from 71 member countries and territories will participate in 18 sports, including para-sports for elite athletes with disabilities. It is one of the biggest international multi-sport events in the world.

The Queensland Government and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games partners are working together to plan, organise, and deliver a great Games in 2018


Critical incidents in sporting situations are typically unpredictable events with the potential to cause major injuries, loss of life, or other catastrophic consequences for athletes, sports personnel, and/or their organisations. Terrorist acts are included in this category of planning. Planning for the effective management of critical incidents should form part of an organisation's broader risk management strategy which is an integral part of good management practice.

Media coverage of critical incidents is often intense and the immediate and subsequent handling of the emergency can have major medical, psychological and legal flow-on effects. While risk management and safety planning can identify and mitigate many hazards a well-designed Critical Incident Management Strategy and Plan are essential.

  • Unexpected Disasters at Organized Sporting Events: Considerations in Preparation and Response, Woodhead, T. et al., Current Sports Medicine Reports, Volume 14, Issue 3, (May/June 2015). The article discusses various considerations in the preparation and response for unexpected disasters at organized sporting events. Topics discussed include general disaster preparedness, supplies in preparation for unexpected disasters at organized sporting events, and special considerations for specific threats like natural disasters.

Effective emergency management relies on advance planning to achieve coordinated actions and designated responsibilities. Sport administrators, team managers, coaches, athletes, spectators, medical support staff, facility and event managers, as well as police and the media may all be involved in the response to a single critical incident. Critical incident planning involves:

  • Establishing clear roles for all personnel who will be part of the plan. Consider aspects such as the availability of equipment and currency of certifications.
  • Developing documented procedures, such as flow charts and check lists, that are readily available.
  • Effectively communicating the plan. Schedule practice sessions and create tools such as wallet cards or a mobile phone app so that all individuals involved understand and know the details of the plan.
  • Using templates to structure documented records of the incident for medical and legal purposes.
  • Planning for the post-emergency period. 
  • Reviewing the process following the immediate emergency.
For more information and resources, please refer to the Clearinghouse for Sport, Critical Incident Management in Sport topic.   

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon. On April 15, 2013 two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 others. The two brothers responsible, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were apparently motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs, but not connected to any external terrorist organisations. They chose the marathon apparently as a target of opportunity. 

Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.


Best Practice GuidesNational Centre for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. The environment and threats surrounding sporting events change, and as a result, should be considered a living document that must change to meet challenges, take advantage of new resources, and avoid the development of patterns that could result in a security or safety risk. Continuous improvement should be the standard by which each sport organization’s safety and security plan is reviewed and refreshed.

Download the guide(s) of your choice below (registration required):


  • Endgame? Sports events as symbolic targets in lone wolf terrorism (PDF  - 390 KB). Spaaji, R., Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp.1022-1037, (2015). This article explores how terrorists acting alone or in small groups have used sports events as symbolic targets in their performance of terrorism. The article finds that rather than being the primary target of their attacks, sports events are among a broader range of densely crowded spaces that terrorist actors may seek to target. The findings are contextualized in relation to broader patterns and trends in lone wolf terrorism, including the significance of a copycat phenomenon and inspiration effect. 
  • From Munich to Boston, and from Theater to Social Media: The Evolutionary Landscape of World Sporting Terror. Galily, J., Yarchi, M. & Tamir, I., Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp. 998-1007, (2015). Modern terrorist attacks are usually characterized by intentionally extreme public displays of massive violence to get wide propagation, courtesy of the media. This article uses large-scale, world sporting events, from the 1972 Munich massacre to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing to document and analyze how terror acts grew and acclimatized into a reality in which the symbiotic, massive linkage between two gigantic entities—sports and the media—allows terrorism to prosper. 
  • Governing Security at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yu, Y., Klauser, F., & Chan, G. International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 26, Issue 3, p.390-405, (2009). This paper presents an overview of the forces and agencies which shaped the Beijing Olympic security plan and explains how the Chinese government integrated its preventive, engaging and repressive strategies. The paper studies four main developments shaping security governance at Sport Mega-Events (SMEs): the globalization, technologization, commercialization and standardization of SMEs’ securitization.
  • Growing Terrorism Challenge for Sports Events (PDF  - 190 KB). G4S Risk Consulting (March 2016). Provides an overview of sport and terror attacks including the 2015 Stade de France suicide bombings and the challenges facing security organisations in mitigating the risk of future terrorist events. 
  • Here be dragons, here be savages, here be bad plumbing’: Australian media representations of sport and terrorism. Toohey, K. & Taylor, T., Sport in Society, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 71-93, (2006). This essay presents a content and discourse analysis of Australian media reporting on the nexus of sport and terrorism. Examining newspaper reports over a five-year period, from 19962001, which included the 11 September 2001 terrorist tragedy in the United States (9/11), provides useful insights into how public discourse might be influenced with regard to sport and terrorism interrelationships. 
  • Impacts of terrorism related safety and security measures at a major sport event. Taylor, T., & Toohey, K., Event Management, Volume 9, Issue 4, (2006). To better understand the post 9/11 sport event environment and attendee reactions, the authors surveyed attendees at the 2003 Rugby World Cup on aspects related to terrorism, risk, safety and security. They found that the majority of attendees felt safe and indicated that the security measures in place neither enhanced nor detracted from their level of enjoyment. A substantial proportion of event attendees were either openly defiant about terrorism or dismissive of any threat to their security. Implications for event managers are discussed. 
  • Mega Events, Fear, and Risk: Terrorism at the Olympic Games. Toohey, K., & Taylor. T., Journal of Sport Management, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp. 451-469 (2008). This conceptual article discusses the theories of the risk society and the precautionary principle to understand and interpret how visitors to the most 2004 Athens Games framed their decision to attend. Consistent with risk theory, a strong public and financial commitment to safety at the Games was evident, with the organizers undertaking wide-ranging large-scale risk management initiatives. 
  • Perceptions of terrorism threats at the 2004 Olympics Games: Implications for sport events. Taylor, T. and Toohey. K., Journal of Sport and Tourism, Volume 12, Issue 2, (2007). Heightened attention to safety management and public concern about terrorism threats and perception of risk has now become a fundamental component of the planning and risk management strategies for sport events. The authors investigated effects of anger and fear on risk judgements of 277 attendees at the 2004 Athens Olympics. 
  • Politics and the London 2012 Olympics: The (in) security Games. Houlihan, B. and Giulianottie, R., International Affairs, Volume 88, Issue 4, (2012). This article traces the emergence of security at the Olympic Games as a key concern of host governments and of the Olympic movement and analyses the implications of this heightened concern for the delivery of the Games, the local host community and for national security policy.
  • Securing the Olympics: at what price? Hassan, D., Sport in Society, Volume 17, (2014). This study considers the ever-increasing preoccupation those countries hosting mega-sports events have with implementing security and counter-terrorism measures and the consequences of this upon the civil liberties of their citizens. It suggests that there is a very real danger that mega-sports events create a convenient context within which the impositions of security measures, which are only marginally justifiable in the context of the event in question, continue to be unquestioningly implemented.
  • Security Models in Mega Sport Events between Safety and Human Rights (Case of Vancouver 2010). Moez Baklouti, Zakaria Namsi, The Sport Journal, (August 2013). This study examines the conflict between liberty and security in sporting mega-events by ensuring that prohibited items do not enter an Olympic Games venue while guaranteeing service excellence. A random sample of spectators and journalists (N= 1081) from Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics responded to a survey about customer service and security in the event. The results revealed that a successful security model in mega-sport events is based on two pillars: service excellence that depends on the time spent at the portal, the communication with customers, the kind of staff serving in the venue, and mainly on the cooperation between all security corps in charge. 
  • Special Issue: Terrorism and Sport: A Global Perspective. American Behavioral Scientist, Volume 60, Issue 9 (August 2016). The articles in this volume offer insights on the intersection of terrorism and sports, by presenting a wide, diverse picture of this phenomenon. The six articles explore this topic from a variety of perspectives, including security, sociology, media and public relations, and the political, ideological, and psychological aspects of sport and terror.
  • ‘Sport and “terrorism”: a critical analysis’, (PDF  - 569 KB) Giulianotti, R. and Klauser, F.R., International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp. 307-323, (2012)
  • The article explores critically the interplay between sport and terrorism, with particular reference to sport megaevents using a social theoretical approach. It also considers 
  • some of the main historical and contemporary incidents and issues with regard to terrorism at sport mega-events.  
  • Sport Terrorism: a deadly game. Bliss, S., Global Education NSW/Geodate, (March 2011). The article focuses on sport mega events (SMEs) such as the Olympic Games that provide a potential target for terrorist activities. It notes that the targeting of SMEs has resulted in the need to implement pro-active costly security strategies supported by governments' defensive anti-terrorism legislation and offensive counter-terrorism strategies. A global overview of sport-related terrorism is offered.
  • Sport and terrorism: Two of modern life's most prevalent themes (PDF  - 340 KB). David Hassan, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Volume 47, Issue 3, p. 263, (2012).  Establishes the context for the relationship between sport and terrorism within a range of international sporting settings. Drawing upon a host of recent examples this article serves to demonstrate the multifaceted nature of this relationship and how sport is increasingly being targeted by terrorists irrespective of whether their campaigns are considered to be ‘local’ or global in nature. It argues that terrorists exercise impact both through the direct targeting of sport and also, subsequently, the impact upon many aspects of political and civic life.
  • Sport, terrorism and the ‘deep state’: exploring the parameters for a longitudinal research programme. A discussion paper (PDF  - 782 KB). Dr. Neil King, Edge Hill University. Paper presented to the 3rd Global Sport Conference, Oxford University, (September 2014). This discussion paper represents the first step in the design of a longitudinal research programme that seeks to critically explain the changing relationship between the ‘national security’ arm of the state and sport (governance, participation, spectating). 
  • Surveillance by Proxy: Sport and Security in a Modern Age (PDF  - 290 KB). David Hassan, American Behavioural Scientist, (2016). This article considers the growing emphasis countries hosting major sporting events place on the implementation of security and counter-terrorism measures and the impact this approach has on the civil liberties of their citizens. It suggests that there is a real danger that international sporting events create a convenient setting within which the impositions of security measures, which are only marginally justifiable in the context of the event in question, continue to be unquestioningly implemented.
  • Surveillance and securitization: A forgotten Sydney Olympic legacy. Toohey, K., & Taylor, T. (2012), International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Volume 47, Issue 3, (2012). Uses the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the last Olympic Games held before 9/11, as a case study to examine how Olympic security measures were implemented before and during the Games and how some of these have remained as an Olympic legacy in the post-9/11 era.
  • Terror games: Media treatment of security issues at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games (PDF  - 190 KB). Atkinson, M. and Young, K., Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies, Volume 11, pp. 53-78, (2002). This article examines how the process of ‘securing’ the 2002 Winter Olympic Games became deftly constructed through the media as a symbolic metaphor for the struggle to ‘secure’ America and the rest of the ‘free’ world.
  • Terrorism and Security at the Olympics: Empirical Trends and Evolving Research Agendas. Spaaij R, The International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 33, Number 4, pp. 451-468, (2016). This paper provides an empirical analysis of Olympic-related terrorism in the period 1968–2014 and suggests the need to bring state terrorism into the analysis of terrorism at the Olympics. Additionally, draws attention to both intended and unanticipated security legacies of the Olympics, including the wider social implications of Olympic security operations. 
  • Terrorism and sport - the lengthening shadow. David Owen, Inside the Games, (30 March 2016). My eye was caught on Saturday by a Tweet from an English journalist in the German capital for the Germany versus England football match. "Entering Berlin’s Olympic Stadium was like passing through Gatwick to fly here. Passport, bag x-ray, body scan, pat down. The new normal." The reason it struck a chord is because of the question I had been pondering at the end of another bleak week for Europe: what does the lengthening shadow of terrorism mean for top-level sport?
  • Terrorism and the Olympics. Routledge Online Studies on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Volume 1, Issue 41 (2012). Special issue with articles relating to a variety of subjects relating to security, terrorism and surveillance at the Olympic Games. 
  • Terrorism and the Olympics: Background Report, (PDF  - 451 KB), START: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, (July 2012). START has compiled a background report on the history of terrorism and the Olympics from 1970-2012. It reviews terrorist attacks that have taken place during the Olympic Games in the host country, as well as those indirectly related to the Olympic Games and similar major sporting events. Bearing in mind that the heightened profile of these events might increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack while the heightened security and surveillance might decrease the likelihood of an attack, the report discusses general patterns of terrorism in Olympic host countries at the time of the Games, compared to the same time period the previous year
  • Terrorism and the Olympics: the games have gone on. Kennelly, M. & Toohey, K., Sporting Traditions, Volume 24, Issue 1-2 (November 2007), pp. 1-22. This article traces the relationship between the Olympic Games and terrorism from 1972 to 2007, and demonstrates how Olympic security has been affected by the 'precautionary principle', a concept summed up by the aphorism 'better safe than sorry'.
  • Terrorism, security and sport. Sinclair, K., In Essays in sport and the law, ed. by T. Hickie et al., Australian Society for Sports History (2008), p.271-283. The author examines steps taken by sports promoters and organisers of major sporting events and examines the social and legal consequences of tight security measures, balancing civil rights against duty of care.
  • The Boston Game and the ISIS Match: Terrorism, Media, and Sport. Yair Galily, Moran Yarchi, Ilan Tamir, and Tal Samuel-Azran, American Behavioural Scientist, Volume 60, Issue 9 (2016). This article focuses on the Boston Marathon Bombing and the Islamic State and illustrates how high-profile news coverage and coverage on social media (through user or “terrorist organization” generated content) advance terrorist groups’ attempts to use large- scale sporting events to leverage their agenda and ideology. 
  • The FIFA World Cup 2002: The effects of terrorism on sport tourists (PDF  - 450 KB). Toohey, K., Taylor, T., & Lee, C., Journal of Sport Tourism, Volume 8, Issue 3 (2013), pp.186-196. This paper discusses the relationship between sport and tourism in reference to the FIFA 2002 Football World Cup. While this study is focussed on the impact of an act of terrorism, it is suggested that the implications for other critical incidences with global ramifications, such as the war in Iraq and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) need to be taken into account when planning mega sporting events.
  • Top 10 worst sport terrorism attacks, Levy G, Time Magazine (2016). TIME recalls the events and instances when terrorism invaded the sporting arena.

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