Super Bowl security was unbelievably tight this year, and that’s despite the fact that the Raymond James Stadium was at nearly a third of its full capacity. COVID-19 restrictions may have helped reduce the dangers of disease transmission, but when it comes to actual safety that requires the cooperation of multiple agencies.
Reporting on the topic, the ABC Action News Team for local station WFTS Tampa Bay looked to our own Gus Dimitrelos for input.
An excerpt from the piece follows:
“The cooperation is just unparalleled in these types of events,” said retired U.S. Secret Service Agent Gus Dimitrelos, who served as the Technical Security Infrastructure Coordinator for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
“Leading up to a Super Bowl or any major event, every agency is focused on the intelligence gathering, focusing on what a threat could be,” Dimitrelos said.
He says that’s vitally important when tensions are high, as they are now following an attack on the U.S. Capitol last month and after months of sometimes violent protests in cities throughout the United States.
“Our investigative agencies do a really good job of finding those coordinated events or groups that are planning something,” Dimitrelos said. “I think it’s the element of surprise that would cause a problem.”
Agencies are working now to reduce that possibility, from conducting fly-over radiation assessments which would help to identify a possible dirty bomb attack, to shutting down air traffic within 30 miles of Raymond James Stadium for more than six hours on Sunday.
“Airspace is hard to defend. It’s hard when you’re bringing an aircraft into that space to defend it,” said Dimitrelos.
Dimetrelos serves as our Senior Digital Forensics Consulting Expert. His experience encompasses working with not just the Secret Service but also the FBI, DEA, ICE, ATF, and other federal, local, and state agencies. He has contributed work to investigations involving high-profile crime victims, including the famous rock band Linkin Park.
When ABC Action News was looking to an expert to provide succinct, insightful commentary on Super Bowl security, we are not the least bit surprised that they invited Dimetrelos. His sharp instincts and decades of experience form the backbone of our approach to comprehensive cyber forensics investigation.
Because of the Super Bowl’s high profile and reputation, it is designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security. Potential threats include local agitators as well as terrorists, both domestic and foreign. There is also the possibility of a major paramilitary strike on the event, which is broadcast internationally to millions. Monitoring for these threats involves months’ long monitoring of cyber communications and other digital signs. Efforts the day of the event are a culmination of countless hours of careful planning, monitoring, and preparation.
Thanks to the efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies in cooperation, the Super Bowl was a safe success. Tampa’s home team brought home the trophy for the first time in nearly two decades.
We look forward to another year of opportunities to help people find security and justice through our investigation capabilities.
For more information on Cyber Forensics, including press inquiries, visit https://cyberforensics.com/contact/