Reference ID: 06ROME506
Created: 2006-02-20 10:24
Released: 2011-08-30 01:44
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Origin: Embassy Rome

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 ROME 000506




E.O. 12958: DECL: X1
(SITREP) #14, 02/20/2006


Classified By: Deborah Graze, Consul General Milan for reason 1.4 (d)

1. (SBU) The following cable provides information on
security, public diplomacy, and consular activities in Turin,
Italy, for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

2. (SBU) The interagency Olympic Security Coordination (OSC)
Office can be contacted on a 24-hour basis at the following

USG Joint Operations Center (JOC): 39-011-55-99-793/794/564
(tel); 011-39-011-55-99-590 (fax)

USG Threat Integration Center (TIC): 39-011-55-99-790/791
(tel); 011-39-011-55-99-590 (fax).

3. (SBU) Attached is a key for USG acronyms used within this
cable: the inter-agency Olympic Security Coordination Office
(OSC); the USG inter-agency Olympic Security Operations
Center OSOC, including the 24/7 Joint Operations Center (JOC)
and Threat Integration Center (TIC); the National Information
Center for the Winter Olympics (CNIO), which is a Government
of Italy (GOI) hosted multinational center; the Turin
Olympics Organizing Committee (TOROC); the International
Olympics Committee (IOC); the US Olympic Committee (USOC);
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); Public
Affairs/Public Diplomacy (PA/PD); Consular Affairs (CA); and
the Italian Ministry of Interior (MOI).


4. (U) Olympic events took place without significant incident
on 02/19/2006. Several Olympic alpine competitions were
postponed due to snowfall in the mountains.

5. (U) The final day of the "No TAV" symposium concluded
uneventfully. As promised by the organizers, symposium
participants did not conduct demonstrations over the weekend
and the event did not distract from the Olympic competitions
being held nearby. Adverse weather in the mountains helped
to limit the number of people attending the series of


Terrorist Activity/Threats:

6. (S/NF) There is no reporting to suggest a specific,
credible threat to Olympic sporting events or participants.
Italian authorities continue to monitor indications of
terrorist activity elsewhere in Italy, particularly in nearby
Milan; refer to IIR 5 398 6522 06 and TD-314/10053-06. In
addition, Italian security forces remain alert to the
potential for disruption by activist groups and OSOC
continues to coordinate with Italian counterparts to identify
activity that could impact on the safety of U.S. interests
within the Olympic theater.


7. (S/NF) As noted in REFTEL, the frequency and intensity of
anti-Olympics protests has decreased since the beginning of
the Games. However, according to Italian officials, the
possibility exists that some groups may focus on protests
against Olympic sponsors before the end of the Games. Please
refer to TD-314/12103-06 for additional information. OSOC
continues to pass specific information to U.S. Olympic
sponsors regarding demonstrations in order to eliminate
potential conflicts between protesters and sponsored events
and other soft targets.

8. (S/NF) Violent protests in reaction to the publication of
the controversial Prophet Mohammad cartoons continue to occur
around the world, and are widely reported in Italian media.
Following the recent attack on the Italian Consulate in
Benghazi, Libya, Italian security forces are alert for
indications that the unrest could spread to Italy and disrupt
the Olympic Games. The 02/18/2006 resignation of Italian
Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli has helped to dampen
domestic tension in Italy and the widely-reported 02/18/2006
visit of Foreign Minister Fini to a Roman mosque was
well-received by the Muslim community. As of 02/19/2006,
Italian authorities had no indication that the Muslim
community in Turin and northern Italy intended to demonstrate
in reaction to Calderoli,s controversial t-shirts. Refer to
TD-314/12104-06 for additional information. OSOC continues
to coordinate with Italian counterparts to identify security
concerns affecting U.S. athletes and spectators as a result
of the cartoon controversy, or reports of prisoner abuse at
Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay.


9. (SBU) Olympic sponsors continue to report hotel room
break-ins to OSOC. The majority of reported incidents
occurred when the victims were out to dinner or engaged in
hospitality events. Many of the targeted rooms were situated
on the first or second floors of the hotels, allowing easy
access and quick escape routes for the perpetrators. All of
the hotels were open to the public without an accreditation
system in place. To date, American citizens have not been
the targets of these thefts; however, U.S. Olympic sponsor
representatives and guests are housed in at least one of the
hotels experiencing increased crime. OSOC has requested that
all U.S. sponsors continue to provide information on criminal
activity. OSOC will use this information to identify crime
trends in Turin.

10. (SBU) On 02/19/2006, the Director of Security for
Olympics Sponsor NIKE informed OSOC that a suspicious bag was
reported at a bus stop in front of the NIKE Olympic
Hospitality Center. Italian law enforcement officers
responding to the incident were unable to locate the bag and
a subsequent review of security camera footage did not reveal
any suspicious items. Due to recent reports of suspicious
bags at various private sector facilities, NIKE was concerned
that the incident may have been an attempt to probe security
operations. OSOC continues to work with U.S. Olympic
sponsors to address security concerns; OSOC through CNIO
liaison has previously noted to MOI the ongoing USG concerns
regarding recent incidents involving suspicious bags in
public locations.

11. (SBU) On 02/19/2006, USOC reported that unidentified
individuals in nearby apartments took photographs of the USA
House. OSOC is working with USOC to obtain additional
details on the incident and to determine the specific
location from which the photos were taken. OSOC continues to
enjoy a close working relationship with USOC security

12. (SBU) The MOI passed information through OSOC to USOC
regarding the travel of a U.S. Paralympic athlete to Italy.
The athlete is currently restricted from travel to countries
enforcing the Schengen Agreement, as the Government of France
had previously prohibited his travel due to prior drug
charges. The MOI advised that the athlete must apply for a
limited visa that would allow him to travel only to Italy.
OSOC has passed this information to USOC for follow-up; CA
colleagues have been informed for background information.


13. (S/NF) In information provided to OSOC CNIO liaison,
Italian authorities stated security at Olympic venues will
not be increased in response to the recent attack on Italian
diplomatic interests in Libya. However, media reporting and
OSOC interaction with Italian counterparts continue to
indicate that Italian law enforcement officials remain
concerned about the possibility of disruptive incidents or
protests stemming from the Prophet Mohammad cartoons and the
actions of former Italian Reform Minister Calderoli. Refer to
TD-314/12104-06 for additional information regarding Italian
interest in Olympics security. Through CNIO liaison, OSOC
has requested that the MOI provide any additional information
regarding changes to security countermeasures at Olympic


14. (SBU) The U.S. Ambassador to Italy departed Turin and
returned to Rome without incident on 02/19/2006.

15. (SBU) The White House Delegation to the Closing
Ceremonies, led by former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, is
scheduled to arrive in Turin on 02/24/2006. Press coverage
of the delegation continues to be minimal. OSOC is working
with Italian counterparts to ensure that the delegation,s
visit takes place without disturbance.


16. (SBU) OSOC continues to work with Italian counterparts on
the investigation of the theft of a TOROC vehicle pass.


17. (U) As of 02/20/2006, Italian media continues to focus on
domestic political issues, particularly the ongoing cartoon
controversy, the resignation of Italian Reform Minister
Calderoli, and the next steps to be taken by his Northern
League party, which holds several key positions in the
Italian Government. Italian daily Il Giornale circulated a
story based on Northern League extremist paper Padania,s
front page photos of Calderoli,s cartoon t-shirts. Other
dailies noted upcoming European Union (EU) Justice and
Interior Ministerial meetings that will likely focus on the
cartoon issue, as well as the start of Council of Europe
hearings on alleged CIA secret prisons and renditions in
Europe. The combination of the EU/COE meetings and Italian
domestic politics ensures that the cartoon issue and related
protests worldwide will continue to be front-page stories in

18. (U) Coverage of the Olympics and security-related matters
remains generally positive. Italian gold medalists are
front-page news in most papers. Italian media has commented
that the attention of "No TAV" protesters has recently turned
to the construction of another high-speed rail line outside
of the Turin area, which may cause further decrease in the
amount of disruption activity at the Olympics. As noted in
REFTEL, stories on doping by Olympic athletes continues to
receive coverage, with television news picking up on the
story of an Austrian banned coach being detained over the
weekend on doping charges.

19. (U) Major business/economic news daily Il Sole/24 Ore
reported on the economics and technology for the Olympics, in
an article titled "The Electronic Eyes on the Games." The
article refers to a TOROC ops center monitoring technological
controls, including Kodak-produced security badges and
credentials. The article provides details on expenditures,
reporting that the GOI is spending 90 million Euros for
security, compared to 310 million dollars spent by USG in
Salt Lake City. The article reports 9000 additional security
personnel brought to Turin for the Games, and such additional
security measures as a NATO AWACS monitoring skies above the

20. (U) PA Olympics office continues to attend relevant
press briefings, to handle media inquiries and to plan media
coverage of the White House Delegation to the Closing
Ceremonies. USOC-based PA staff is supporting U.S. athlete
press conferences, possible participation in U.S. speaker
programs, and facilitating interaction with Italian media, to
include translating and disseminating U.S. team information.
The Public Affairs Office in Turin may be reached at


21. (U) On 02/19/2006, CA received four requests from
American citizens for emergency services. Two Amcits applied
for replacements to lost passports; one of these individuals
was referred to Consulate General Milan due to his imminent
travel plans. The Consular Office also accepted the passport
renewal application of an Amcit whose passport had expired;
he will be traveling to the U.S. after the Olympics.

22. (SBU) CA received reports of two more Amcits sanctioned
for selling Olympic tickets without proper license. The
Amcits visited the Consular Office in Turin to obtain a list
of English-speaking attorneys and indicated that they wish to
appeal the sanction.

23. (SBU) On the evening of 02/19/2006, the Consular Office
in Turin worked with the consular duty officer in Milan to
assist an elderly Amcit,s return to Turin from a mountain
Olympic venue. The Amcit had been hospitalized for

24. (U) The Consular Office may be contacted at the following
numbers: 011-5599-330 (tel.); 011-5599-551 (fax). Additional
information may be found at