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FBI Offering Expertise, Intelligence For Security At Beijing Olympics

BEIJING (AP) _ The FBI is offering its expertise to Chinese authorities who will provide security for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The FBI is holding talks with Chinese officials to determine what the U.S. agency can offer, particularly in the area of global information sharing, said Thomas Fuentes, assistant director of the FBI's Office of International Operations.

``This is a massive challenge for the authorities here in China to deal with,'' Fuentes said Wednesday. ``We're offering every possible assistance to them, in terms of the information sharing or other technical assistance.''

Other countries are offering security help for the Beijing Olympics, which Fuentes said is expected to attract more than 200,000 people working during the event, a number that does not include spectators or other tourists.

``There are tremendous issues of security as to who's entering the country and what backgrounds they may have, whether they intend violence at the Olympic Games for any variety of reasons,'' Fuentes said.

Liu Shaowu, head of security of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympics, said in April that organizers had kept security costs low by relying on domestic providers for surveillance systems and other necessary equipment.

Liu did not provide specific details or figures, but state media has reported plans drawn up in 2005 allocated $300 million for security, only about 20 percent of the amount spent for the 2004 Athens Games.

Security preparations are among the least publicized of Beijing's efforts to prepare for the Olympics. Foreign companies and diplomats, who are preparing to host many dignitaries in 2008, have complained privately that China's often secretive police have divulged few details of their plans.

Fuentes was in Beijing to attend a scheduled meeting with Chinese law enforcement officials to discuss how the sides can better share information and improve enforcement activities.
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