A New Amenity, Missiles, May Show Up on Some London Roofs for the Olympics [View all]
Source: New York Times
LONDON — “It looked like one of those things where you get free pizzas through the post,” Hilal Bozkurt said, describing the innocuous-looking leaflet that came through her mail slot recently. “But this was like, free missiles.”
The leaflet was from the Ministry of Defense, and it briskly informed Ms. Bozkurt that her building, Fred Wigg Tower, part of a sad-looking public housing project in a depressed neighborhood in an unloved corner of this city, had been selected as a possible front line against terrorist attacks during the Olympics. Because of the 17-story tower’s strategic location and “excellent all-around view,” the leaflet said, the military was considering installing a “high-velocity missile system” on the roof.
“The air defense system will be manned by fully trained, professional soldiers,” the leaflet said, adding in the “frequently asked questions” section that it would “improve your local security and not make you a target for terrorists.”
Ms. Bozkurt said she did not think that a residential apartment building, even one made of concrete and built in the pugnacious Brutalist style of the 1960s, was a suitable place for a pop-up military base featuring surface-to-air weapons able to travel at three times the speed of sound and hit targets more than three miles away in less than eight seconds. “It does frighten you,” she said.