Like other Olympic games, security threats are always high, and in this post-9/11 world, the United States becomes increasingly concerned about terrorist activity, especially in the volatile location of Sochi, Russia. As the 2014 Winter Olympic festivities kicked off in Sochi, the U.S. aired their specific concerns with terrorist group activities in the neighboring location of The Caucasus.
The director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, states, “The primary threat, from a terrorism perspective, comes from Imarat Kavkaz…It’s made its intent clear to seek to carry out attacks in the run-up to the Games…We think the greater danger from a terrorist perspective is in potential for attacks to occur outside of the actual venues for the Games themselves in the area surrounding Sochi or outside of Sochi in the region.” The city of Sochi is in close proximity to Chechnya and Dagestan, which have become hotbeds for ethnic and radical religious terrorist groups, like Imarat Kavkaz.
Three days before the start of the opening ceremony, the U.S. published that one of the major concerns for Homeland Security is the potential for terrorist to smuggle explosives onto airplanes, via small containers, such as toothpaste tubes. Other security measures taken in Sochi are restrictions on firearms and non-lethal weapons, tight control of visitors in and outside of Olympic village, and the development of the “Focus Group Sochi,” composed of an active ten thousand person military.
Sources: CNN, CBC News, Boryfsen Intel