There were rooftop missiles near the main venue, an imposing warship on hand, an army of undercover agents. But the 2012 Olympics turned out to be terrorism-free.
British authorities say that was no coincidence.
A day after London won the Olympic bid in 2005, homegrown suicide bombers struck during London's morning rush-hour. In the aftermath, Britain's security, intelligence and eavesdropping agencies — MI5, MI6 and GCHQ — received more money, manpower and equipment and thwarted dozens of terror plots — a major factor they say has helped to keep the games safe.
"Over the years, we've managed to make Britain a difficult place to operate in if you're a terrorist," a British security official told AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
But with post-Olympics celebrations stretching into the week and the Paralympics not wrapping up until September, Britain's security officials say their job is far from over.
Hundreds of personnel have been told to forget about vacations until next month. And the private security contractor for the Olympics, G4S, says some 5,000 guards will be on hand for the Aug. 29-Sept. 9 event.
— Paisley Dodds — Twitter http://twitter.com/paisleydodds
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.