Missile Launchers at Six Sites at London Olympics Raise Concerns

The British Ministry of Defense earlier this week declared that it was installing missiles on roof tops of some apartment buildings in London in preparation of the Olympic Games.

"Whilst there is no reported threat to the London Olympics…the public expects that we put in place a range of measures aimed at ensuring the safety and security of this once-in-a-generation event," Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond said in a statement.

He added, "Ground-based air defense systems will form just one part of a comprehensive, multi-layered air security plan which, I believe, will provide both reassurance and a powerful deterrent."

In addition to the strategically placed missiles, local authorities will also station a Royal Navy helicopter carrier on the Thames River and station Royal Air Force jets and army helicopters close by.

"The safety of the games is paramount and for the last four months, working alongside the police, the MOD has conducted a broad range of community engagement in those areas where ground-based air defense may be sited," a ministry spokesperson said.

With safety of the games the highest priority officials are taking heat for using private buildings as staging points for the missile batteries. However, Defense Secretary Hammond is confident the legality of the placement of the missiles will be held up in court.

"A small number of activists object to the deployment of these defensive measures and a legal challenge to the Government's decision to deploy ... has been initiated. The Ministry of Defense will defend these proceedings vigorously and is confident of defeating them," Hammond told local media.

There are also additional anti-aircraft missile batteries located in and around the city center. The Olympic complex is situated north of the Thames River and east of central London.

"Our focus is to deliver and Olympic and Paralympic Games that London, the U.K. and the world can enjoy," Home Secretary Theresa May told reporters.

"This is the biggest sporting event in the world, and with that comes the huge responsibility to deliver it safely and securely. ... We will leave nothing to chance," she said.