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Bigger security threat outside Sochi: US official

Published on Feb 5, 2014 6:16 AM
 
National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen testifies before the House Select Intelligence Committee on worldwide threats at the US Capitol on Feb 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. The biggest security threat facing the Olympic games in Russia is a possible attack in areas outside of Sochi and its heavily-guarded venues, a top US counter-terrorism official said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The biggest security threat facing the Olympic games in Russia is a possible attack in areas outside of Sochi and its heavily-guarded venues, a top US counter-terrorism official said on Tuesday.

"We think the greater danger, from a terrorist perspective, is in the potential for attacks to occur outside of the actual venues for the games themselves, in the area surrounding Sochi or outside of Sochi, in the region," said Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counter-terrorism Center.

Security at the Sochi winter games has been a major focus for Moscow as well as Washington, after two deadly suicide attacks in December in the southern city of Volgograd and a stream of threats from Islamist militants in the volatile northern Caucasus region.

Speaking to the House Intelligence committee, Mr Olsen said the primary danger came from extremists with Emarat Kavkaz, or the Caucasus Emirate, which was "probably the most prominent terrorist group in Russia." "It's made its intent clear to seek to carry out attacks in the run-up to the games," Olsen said.

 
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