How safe are the Olympics?
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|Mon, 12-30-2013 - 9:36am|
A third suicide bombing occurred in Russia yesterday within a matter of months, with this latest one taking 14 lives on a trolley bus. It raises a lot of questions about the safety of the Olympics:
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but the leaders of an insurgency that aims to create an Islamic state out of Muslim provinces south of Volgograd have urged militants to use "maximum force" to stop the Olympics from being held.
Security officials around the world are concerned about terrorist attacks at the Olympic Games. NBC Counter-terrorism analyst Michael Leiter reports.
President Vladimir Putin called a meeting of security and intelligence chiefs in the wake of Monday's attack, and the country's interior ministry ordered police to bolster patrols in railway stations and other transport hubs across the country.
Putin, who was elected after waging war against Chechen rebels in the mountains just south of Volgograd, has staked his reputation on organizing a safe Olympics. Security experts warn that it is attacks by Islamist militants whose fight is rooted in this war that present Putin with his biggest security challenge now.
“Since these games were first awarded to Russia several years back, people were worried because of the long-standing conflicts,” NBC News counter-terrorism analyst Michael Leiter said after Sunday’s attack. “And this type of mass transit is what officials are most concerned with.”
The White House issued a statement within hours of the latest blast, saying President Barack Obama has been briefed on the attacks and the United States and Russia were cooperating on anti-terrorism leading up to the Olympics.
What are your thoughts on this?