Former Security Chief Reveals Bomb Encounter Days Before Barcelona '92 Games
Days before the start of the '92 Barcelona Olympic Games, police "encountered a bomb" on the roof of the Palau Sant Jordi (St. George's Palace), according to the EFE. The news was revealed by then-Security Chief Rafael Vera. The explosive device was "hidden in the tubular structure of the roof of the sports pavilion" and was scheduled to detonate a couple days before the opening ceremony of the Games. Vera revealed that the bomb could have caused "severe destruction in the installation" and the group responsible was looking for "maximum Olympic publicity and media relevance" during a time in which the world had its eyes on Barcelona. The attempted attack was "never claimed by any terrorist group" but was "possibly from" Basque nationalist group ETA. Vera showed that he was "surprised by the last minute security problems for the London Olympic Games." He recalled that 20 years ago, Spain "with a much superior terrorist threat than the U.K.," was able to "manage a global sporting event without incident" (EFE, 7/19).