A London resident has taken a video of what appeared to be unguarded missiles outside his blocks of flats, days after the Ministry of Defence revealed it would be planting defence systems around the capital ahead of the Olympics.
Brian Whelan, 28, a freelance journalist who originally told the press about plans to plant for surface-to-air missiles to be located on residential buildings, told The Huffington Post UK of his shock at finding the equipment.
"I was able to walk down the stairs and go to the bottom of the tower and start filming and then the military came over, I think I had about 30 seconds," he said.
"I could have picked up one of the bags and opened it. I had enough of a window where I could have done whatever I wanted."
A spokesperson for the MoD said the equipment contained "dummy missiles" but refused to confirm whether other residents had raised concerns over the military plans.
Whelan took the video at 11am on Thursday and posted a clip of the finding on his Twitter account.
Asked if members of the public could have accessed the missiles, Whelan said they could have "walked through" the gates, after they were left open by the military.
The reporter, who lives in the gated Bow Quarter in East London, a stone's throw from the Olympic stadium, told press last weekend that he and other residents had received a leaflet warning them that a team of 10 soldiers and police would be stationed at the building - home to 700 people - for the duration of the Games.
Lexington House in Bow Quarter, where the Army may position a surface to air missile system
Whelan said: "The general tone of [the leaflet] was 'Great news, aren't we lucky', but that's not normal, it's not something people should have put on them.
The journalist, who plans to take legal action over the proposals and claims he is being "asked to leave" the flats after raising the alarm, said he had not contacted the MoD about his findings.
An MoD spokesperson said the weapons were dummy missiles which the residents would have been told about , telling The Huffington Post UK: "It's a bit far-fetched to imply they were left unguarded when the video gets switched off when you see three members of the military approaching.
"All the people that would have seen those - and its only one person that's flagged it up so far - are the people that live there that would have been briefed about it on Tuesday night [at a residents' meeting.]"
However Whelan said: "If they can't even secure dummy missiles what faith can I have. They've fallen at the very first hurdle on this.. I'm being asked to leave, yes."
His find comes after the military announced a "major exercise" this week taking place on land, sea and air to rehearse Olympic security.
They say it will include:
• The berthing of HMS Ocean at Greenwich, with a number of Royal Navy Lynx helicopters embarked;
• The deployment of HMS Bulwark and other maritime assets to Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour;
• The basing of RAF Typhoon fast jets at RAF Northolt, Royal Navy airborne Early Warning helicopters and RAF Puma helicopters at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford;
• The operation of fast jets and helicopters over Greater London and the Home Counties;
• The deployment of Ground based Air Defence systems, fitted with practice drill missiles, along with Air Observer Teams, to a number of sites in London.
The MoD said they would not comment on whether they had received complaints from other members of the public about the plans.
In a statement, they said: “The process of consultation continues and while all views are welcome and respected it is important to recognise that no individual’s viewpoint is indicative of all the residents. The purpose of selecting these sites is to help ensure the safety and security of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.”
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