Olympic delegation warned about additional terror attacks
After the second deadly attacks in less than 24 hours rocked the Russian city of Volgograd, the domestic intelligence agency PET is warning the Danish Olympic delegation about the threat of terror attacks during the Sochi 2014 Games.
The Winter Olympics will start on February 7 and be held some 700 kilometres southwest of the terror attacks.
The first attack in Volgograd came Sunday in the form of a suicide bomber at the city’s main railway station. That blast killed at least 17 people. This morning, a separate bomb attack struck a trolleybus during morning rush-hour traffic. The death toll stands at 14.
Danish delegation warned by PET
The attacks raise serious concerns about safety at the Sochi Games. The head of Denmark’s Olympic delegation, Morten Schram Rodtwitt, told public broadcaster DR this morning that the delegation has been advised by PET that further attacks could occur.
“We have been made aware of the tensions in the Caucasus region and PET has told us that it is not unlikely that that more episodes will occur similar to those in Volgograd, but that they are likely to occur outside of Sochi,” Rodtwitt said.
According to Reuters, Islamic insurgents in the the North Caucasus have urged the use of “maximum force” to prevent the Sochi Games from moving forward.
Despite the two horrific attacks, Rodtwitt said they would not affect Denmark’s participation in the Olympics.
“There is a large security build-up for the Games,” he told DR. “It will make the Olympic Village and the surrounding area one of the safest places to be.”
More attacks feared
According to security experts, extremists are likely to take advantage of the added police presence in Sochi to carry out more attacks in other parts of Russia.
"The threat is greatest now because it is when terrorists can make the biggest impression," Alexei Filatov, a spokesperson for the veterans' association of the elite Alfa anti-terrorism unit, told Reuters. "The security measures were beefed up long ago around Sochi, so terrorists will strike instead in these nearby cities like Volgograd."
An official told Reuters that some 600 police officers were redeployed from Volgograd to Sochi.
Denmark has qualified two curling teams for the Sochi 2014 Games and has speed skaters and ski jumpers who are still competing for a spot in the Olympics.