In a Sunday interview on CNN, lawmakers from both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees voiced significant concerns over the safety of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next month.
CNN reported, “Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he wouldn’t go to the games himself – “and I don’t think I would send my family.”
King continued, “It’s a very serious fear because the Olympics are being held in an area where there’s a history of terrorist activity, where there’s been a lot of tension between Islamists in that area and the government of Russia.”
The concerns come after an increased level of terrorism struck the city of Volgograd where bombings killed more than 30 people in December. Russian authorities have significantly increased security in the area surrounding where the Olympics will be held with thousands of extra troops and police, at the cost of billions of dollars. Additionally Russia has established ‘security zones’ that are extremely difficult to breach.
The former director of the CIA and National Security agencies, Michael Hayden, thinks that the Games will be safe for Americans and that he has faith in Russian security.
“I think Americans will be quite safe,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees with Hayden and believes that the security measure put in place specifically for the Olympic Games will keep all visitors and athletes safe. Putin announced that over 40,000 police and security forces would be placed throughout the Olympic events.
CNN reported Putin saying, “We will try to make certain that the security measures are not intrusive or too conspicuous, so they are not too noticeable for the athletes, the Olympics’ guests or journalists,” “But at the same time, we will do our utmost to ensure that they are effective.”
The FBI will also be assisting the Russians with counterterrorism operations throughout the event.