With less than twenty days left until the opening ceremonies in Sochi, Russia, many people are on the edge of their seats because of the looming potential of terrorist attacks. Sochi is about 250 miles from one of the terrorist hotspots, Chechnya; this is about the distance from Cincinnati to Cleveland. In July 2013, a Muslim extremist leader announced that he will use whatever methods possible to disrupt the Sochi Olympics. With this, he called for all Muslims and his followers to join in and help him, to take whatever methods needed, including violent actions, to interrupt the 2014 Olympics. Multiple terrorist attacks have occurred in the last two months, killing dozens in train station bombings and bus attacks. Another attack on January 15th, killed three Russian servicemen and four gunmen who died in a shootout in southern Russia while doing a sweep for militants for the Olympics. A big concern is the new train stations that will carry athletes and spectators to and from the ski hills. Russia has committed 37,000 police officers; however, few are trained in terrorism and terrorist attacks. The United States is even sending in American armed security officials to protect American athletes in the Olympic Village. As well, the United States Ski and Snowboard teams have contracted with a private security company for a fleet of air craft ready for emergency in case there is a need for immediate evacuation. American spectators have been warned by the United States that there is potential for danger while traveling around Sochi. With the events that have occurred in the last two months, no country is saying these actions are overboard.
Sources: ESPN.com, NCBC.com, HuffingtonPost.com
– Gabby Reynolds