Sochi Olympics Security has been beefed up by Russian authorities for this year’s Olympic games, but U.S. lawmakers said their cooperation with them has not been enough. Barely three weeks earlier, the Sochi Games were set to commence and U.S. lawmakers as well as other officials publicly air concerns that Russia may not be able to protect the crowd adequately against the region’s security threats.
One of the reasons of the concern is the alleged information that the Russian authorities haven’t practiced cooperation and sharing of information with other countries to make sure that the games will have that top-notch security.
Mike Morell, former Deputy Director of the CIA said on CBS’s “Face of the Nation” that countries that host the Olympics usually cooperate with the U.S. government and its intelligence community. Such is not the case with the Russians. Maybe they are reluctant to admit that they do not have complete control and that they need some help, Morell said. It is because they think it is an embarrassing situation politically, so they do not share. Such is a wrong attitude with regards to an international event.
Rogers stated that Sochi security threats were not similar to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, the responsibility of which is a lone extremist rather than an association with a violent background. In regards to the Sochi Olympics, U.S. officials continue to worry about security threats and Russia’s inability to respond appropriately to the threats.
Rogers stated publicly that the games are their target, and they already targeted security in that place. This is an entire different animal and that they need absolute cooperation from the Russians. However, the Russians President Vladimir Putin defended the preparedness of his country. The job of the Olympics’ host is to guarantee the security of the Olympic visitors and participants. President Putin said they will do whatever it takes in his “This Week” interview on ABC.
Meanwhile, Mike McCaul who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC that the diplomatic security corps of the U.S. said that the cooperation between U.S. and Russian has been good, though it could be better. The U.S. takes the threats to the Sochi Olympics seriously and needs more from the Russians.
McCaul is set in Sochi on Monday to meet with control and command of operations to assess the situation. He has concerns regarding the security and would better evaluate if he would need a constituent to travel there to watch the Olympics.
What concerns him most is the proximity of the venue to a region with a long strife history. He believes that attacks may occur around the parameter of the games, perhaps in the transportation set up to reach Sochi.
However, the Russian President’s confidence has not been enough to appease the U.S. lawmakers. Angus King, an independent senator of Maine, stated in the “Stated of the Union” in CNN, that since the security threat heightened, he would not attend the Olympics and would not send his family as well. He said that it is just a target in one area of the world. Terrorists have almost announced that they are going to try doing something there.
Suicide bombings last month and the current threats from the rebels of Chechen in the region threatened the Sochi Games security, forcing Russia to step up the security measures. The State Department has advised Americans coming to the Sochi Olympics to remain attentive on their personal security all the times while U.S. officials try to ease concerns about the security threats.
By Judith Aparri