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New Threats Target Sochi Olympics

Published: 20/01/2014 04:48:03 PM GMT
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MOSCOW – New threats to the upcoming winter Olympics have surfaced after an Islamist group released a video claiming Volgograd attacks, vowing similar attacks against the Games to be hosted by Russia next February. We've prepared a present for you and all tourists who'll come over, a Russian speaking man said in a video posted on a well-...(more)

MOSCOW – New threats to the upcoming winter Olympics have surfaced after an Islamist group released a video claiming Volgograd attacks, vowing similar attacks against the Games to be hosted by Russia next February.

"We've prepared a present for you and all tourists who'll come over," a Russian speaking man said in a video posted on a well-known jihadi forum, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday, January 19.

The video claims that the two men, identified as Suleiman and Abdurakhman, were the suicide bombers and purports to show the explosives being prepared and strapped to their bodies.

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"If you hold the Olympics, you'll get a present from us for the Muslim blood that's been spilled," the man said

"It will be for all the Muslim blood that is shed every day around the world - be it in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, all around the world. This will be our revenge," he added.

During much of the 49-minute video, the two men speak to the camera while holding Kalashnikov automatic rifles. Behind them hang black banners with Arabic religious phrases similar to those used by al-Qaida.

Volgograd city, serving as a gateway to the southern wedge of Russian territory bounded by the Black and Caspian Seas and the Caucasus mountains, came under attack last December after two bombings ripped through the city’s main rail station and a bus.

Volgograd was also the scene of an attack in October, when a woman from Dagestan killed seven people in a suicide bus blast.

Condemning the attacks, the Council of Muftis of Russia and the charity foundation Zakyat have announced that Muslims will donate their blood and money to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Volgograd.

Militant group Vilayat Dagestan claimed responsibility for the attacks in the released video.

Vilayat Dagestan is one of the groups that make up the so-called Caucasus Emirate, which seeks to establish an independent state in the North Caucasus, a region just to the east of Sochi on Russia's southern border.

The Games open February 7 in Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea coast.

US Fears

The new threats to Sochi games have raised US lawmakers’ worries.

"The threats are real. They are basically calling for attacks on the Olympics. I think you're going to see attempts to do that," Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview from Moscow with ABC's "This Week".

The Republican added that Russian authorities were taking the threats seriously, deploying 100,000 security officials to erect a "ring of steel" to secure the Sochi airport, mountain trains and the Games themselves.

He warned that possible attacks were more likely to be directed at soft targets like transportation.

The congressman added that the diplomatic security corps said it was getting good cooperation from the Russians, and noted that two dozen FBI agents were assigned to the massive sports event.

But "it could be a lot better. I want to press that while here," he added, saying he wanted to know more about emergency evacuation planning.

Another key congressman, House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, said Russian authorities were clearly concerned about security.

"But we don't seem to be getting all of the information we need to protect our athletes in the Games," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Rogers, also a Republican, said the Russians' unwillingness to share information with US intelligence was "a departure of cooperation that is very concerning to me."

"So what we're finding is they aren't giving us the full story about what are the threat streams, who do we need to worry about," the lawmaker said.

"Are the terrorist groups who have had some success, are they still plotting?"

"There's a missing gap and you never want that when you're going into something, I think, as important as the Olympic Games," he added.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here

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