US urges tight security for Cricket World Cup
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 27 (Reuters) The United States called for tight security and safeguards against terrorism, as nine Caribbean nations prepared to host next year's world cricket championship in the West Indies.
The request came from US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who spoke after talks with regional security officials about possible extremist threats during the 55-day Cricket World Cup.
There is an ''international ideology that uses terrorist means to promote its aims,'' Chertoff told reporters. ''There is no reason to believe any part of the world is off limits, that includes this area as well.'' Chertoff said that although cricket was not a sport in which the United States participates, large groups of US spectators were likely to visit the Caribbean during the international championship that begins next March.
He said Washington would provide support for the cricket host countries, especially in the area of advance information about transatlantic air passengers.
Britain and Interpol have also been involved in security plans for the event.
The countries hosting the tournament are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
Some 16 teams from around the world including Australia, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will take part in the games that will end with a final in Barbados in April.
Reuters DKS VP0450