by Aaron Nelson, Activist Post:
The Department of Homeland Security has designated Super Bowl LII a National Special Security Event (an event deemed a potential target for terrorism or criminal activity) with a SEAR-Iclassification. The National Guard, federal agencies, and law enforcement from across the country have been patrolling Minneapolis and Saint Paul since January 26th.
While security around the Super Bowl has been openly militarized every year since the 9/11 attacks, only three have been labeled National Special Security Events, including this year’s. Since 2001, every city except Houston (which had over 5,000 police officers) has called in the National Guard to provide additional security on the streets.
SEAR-I is an event “of such magnitude and significant national and/or international importance that may require the full support of the United States Government (USG). The scale and scope of these events requires significant coordination among federal, state, and local authorities and warrants pre-deployment of federal assets as well as consultation, technical advice, and support to specific functional areas in which the state and local agencies may lack expertise or key resources.”
In its 52-year history, there has never been an attack at the site of the Super Bowl, which raises questions about the need for SEAR-I classification.
More than a dozen streets have been shut down at three major points within downtown Minneapolis: the Minneapolis Convention Center (NFL Super Bowl Experience), Nicollet Mall (Super Bowl LIVE), and the site of the game, U.S. Bank Stadium. These areas are guarded and patrolled by militarized forces.
Though the Minneapolis Police Department is the agency in charge of security operations during Super Bowl LII, more than 60 additional police departments from across the state of Minnesota have sent officers. There are also over 400 National Guard members, United States Secret Service, ICE and FBI agents, several hundred security contractors, county Sheriff’s Reserves, and over 10,000 civilian volunteers. Representatives from Minnesota police departments, FBI, DHS, and the Secret Service, have been stationed at multiple command centers around Minneapolis to watch hundreds of surveillance cameras, track social media, and monitor communications on the ground during Super Bowl events.
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