Game on? The Delhi question
Who’s going to say it first? Surely in the prickly conversations going on through the ranks of Australian sport and diplomacy, many people are suggesting it: that we shouldn’t be going to the Commonwealth Games.
It is one thing to take your own life in your hands by getting on a toboggan and going down an ice chute but it is quite another for governments and sporting authorities to send athletes to a place where people are threatening to kill them.
Following today’s threat of a terrorist attack on the Games in New Delhi from an al-Qaeda offshoot the stakes have been raised to vertigo-inducing levels. Fox Sports reports today:
Ilyas Kashmiri has reportedly warned the international community against sending competitors to the Commonwealth Games in October, cricket’s Indian Premier League and the hockey World Cup.
The Hong Kong-based Asia Times online said the guerilla commander, the head of the al-Qaeda-affiliated 313 Brigade, sent it the warning by email. ‘‘We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, IPL and Commonwealth Games. Nor should their people visit India - if they do, they will be responsible for the consequences,’’ the Asia Times quoted Kashmiri as saying…
Indian security expert B. Raman said Kashmiri ‘‘is a well-known terrorist figure in Pakistan, so this has to be closely followed up’‘.
‘‘He has a record of indulging in terrorism. The Americans … and the Indians are closely watching his activities, so they will step up their watch.’’ But he warned that Kashmiri was ‘‘in the habit of making tall claims’‘.
I don’t think cliches often make the best advice but in this case it’s a case of better safe than sorry. There is plenty of precedent for cancelling events on the basis of terrorist threats - including a juggling of the entire international cricket plans after the gun attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
“But then the terrorists will win” will be a fairly standard retort to anyone who suggests pulling out. It’s not of quite the same order but think about it this way: the next time a guy is caught with something looking like, just maybe, C4 strapped to his pants in an airport why don’t we get him on board and see what happens?
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
RT @Rob_Stott: Like a lot of Republicans in the US, it's much easier to support gay marriage when you're no longer in a position to do anyt…
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…