European and American golfers will be protected by elite special forces and infrared missiles at the first Ryder Cup to be held in terrorism-threatened France, security services have revealed.
They have demanded a ‘ring of steel’ is placed around the multi-million pounds showpiece golf competition near Paris at the end of September.
Le Golf National course will be surrounded by armed officers, including secret servicemen if presidents Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump attend.
It follows fears expressed by former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin that the Americans might boycott the event because of recent atrocities carried out by Islamic State terrorists.
The ‘ring of steel’ will see France’s elite counter-terrorism teams‘on standby a couple of minutes away’ said a senior Paris security source.
‘Everybody coming into the area will be protected on the ground by armed police, while mobile surface to air missiles will be deployed in case of attacks from the air.’
Le Gold National, which has a spectator capacity of more than 50,000, is less than six miles from the Satory headquarters of the GIGN, the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group.
Nearby businesses will also be asked to shut down, increasing the feeling of an area in security lockdown.
The GIGN is the elite tactical unit of France’s gendarmerie, and specialises in counter terrorism and protecting VIPs.
The RAID (for Search, Assistance, Intervention, Deterrence), the National Police’s equivalent of the GIGN, are also just 10 miles away, in Bièvres.
Such units have been at the forefront of the fight against terrorist attacks around the French capital over the past four years.
The GIGN and RAID are equipped with the latest in high-tech weaponry, while soldiers supporting them will be able to set up Mistral infrared mobile missile systems.
The skies above Le Golf National will be closed to all air traffic, except for registered helicopters and jets landing at the nearby Toussus-le-Noble airport.
A White House spokesman would not say whether Donald Trump – an avid golf fan – will attend, indicating that nothing would be announced until a few days before the Ryder Cup.
Both he and President Macron will be together in Paris on November 11 for the First World War Armistice commemoration.
Edward Kitson, the Ryder Cup Match Director, said: "We cannot give details of planned visits due to security reasons.
"The main priority of Ryder Cup Europe is always to host a safe event. This is reflected in our overall planning, including site access,transport and ticket security.
"We are working very closely with French Government agencies,but, understandably, we are not able to explain the detail of our securityplans."
Spectators arriving for the weekend competition from September 28 to 30, will not be allowed to head straight for the course in their vehicles.
Instead there will be free shuttle buses from nearby stations at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Montigny and Massy-Palaiseau, where there will be searches and metal detectors.
Renault has already planned to close its neighbouring Technocentre – a vast research and development complex – telling some10,000-plus employees to stay away for the duration of the competition, while other companies are being asked to do the same.
Around £7million has already been spent on renovating Le Golf National, with organisers hoping the event – being held in France for the first time – will cement the country as a golfing power.
Tony Jacklin, the most successful European Ryder Cup captain of all time, said last summer: “If the Americans decide they don’t want to come and risk getting into danger, what’s the alternative?”
Beyond those turning up in person, it is estimated that some 750 million people around the world will watch the Ryder Cup on television or online.
Source: Read Full Article