Lawmakers Warn Of Terror Threat At Sochi

"Something will detonate," says Republican Rep. Mike McCaul. "I’ve never seen a greater threat in my lifetime."

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Security forces patrol the Olympic Park prior to the start of the Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.

Republican congressional leaders aired concerns about security at the Winter Olympics on Sunday morning, opening up the day’s talk show cycle with warnings about safety in Sochi as athletes there finished their second day of competition.

“I’ve never seen a greater threat in my lifetime,” said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Tex.) on Fox News Sunday of the Olympic games. In December, terrorists detonated two bombs a few hundred miles from Sochi in Volgograd, Russia, killing dozens. “We’ve already had two suicide bombers go off outside the Olympic Village,” McCaul said.

McCaul, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, continued: “What poses the greatest threat, in my opinion, is the proximity and the location of where these games are being held… It’s a whole new ball game, makes these Olympics very very different… I think there’s a high degree of probability that something will detonate, something will go off.”

There have been a host of security alerts at Sochi, and militant Islamists seeking to carve a religious state out of southern Russia have promised to attack the Olympic games. Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded by spending $2 billion in security at the games and deploying 40,000 troops around Sochi.

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Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) praised Russia’s extensive security measures at the Sochi games. “The guards, gates and guns portion of this is unparalleled for an Olympic Games,” he said on ABC’s This Week. Security in Sochi “as good as I’ve seen it.” But he said terrorists still had the capability to strike the Games — not necessarily attacking Olympic venue, but staging a “disruptive event” nearby. “They’re going to find the weakest point they can find,” he said.

There have not been any attacks since the games began, and no immediate security threats.

But Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) warned that officials shouldn’t be less vigilant until the games are over on Feb. 23. “So far, so good,” the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence said on CBS’s Face the Nation“Still, I believe it’s a dangerous situation… The worst thing that we can do in any way is anyone let their guard down.”

More: Airlines Warned Of Possible Toothpaste Tube Bombs Ahead Of Olympics

19 comments
ShmuelAkura
ShmuelAkura

There will be no terror attack. The Muslims are too stupid for that. They lack creativity. Their mission is to create chaos and panic. It doesn't matter whether they kill one man or one hundred, they would still achieve their goal. But how hard can it be to kill one person in such a crowded place? You don't need to smuggle rifles inside for that. You can do it with your bare hands. Any Muslim terrorist can pretend to be a regular sports fan, enter inside any stadium he likes, take a regular kitchen knife, enter the bathroom and start stabbing people to death, including children just to make it much more horrible. How hard can it be? If it didn't happen so far, there's no reason to assume it will happen in the future. Muslims are simply stupid.

AmmarNaeem
AmmarNaeem

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greenjorge
greenjorge

maybe they saw the video of the Boston bombing and the two Private security men in uniform walk past the trash can seconds before it went off and never turned around when it popped its lid. They just kept walking away from the scene. I would not trust Washington. 

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

If I didn't know any better, I'd say he WANTED something to explode.

Hedonikos
Hedonikos

As someone already stated, the greatest threat in our lifetime is this excuse for a politician. 

kafantaris2
kafantaris2

Enough about Vladimir Putin, the unlit 5th ring malfunction, or the preoccupation with security risks. The Sochi Olympics are stupendous.

Indeed, the Olympics anywhere are our collective achievement; a triumph for the World; a testament to our universal civility.

Pause and enjoy them.

alohajoe0007
alohajoe0007

classic CIA propaganda just like the old days some things never change. When exactly did this politician gain credibility????? Keep in mind that our gov't will do or say anything to promote "fear of terrorism". 

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Not sure why Sam Frizell and TIME Magazine are painting this into a one-side/Republican issue.  Several Democrats have expressed conerns about Sochi security as well.  Why aren't their opinions getting aired too?

stevek77536
stevek77536

Background on Mr. McCaul, the wealthiest member of Congress with a net worth of $300 million: "In August 2011 AlterNet reported that McCaul ... was attempting to remove the right of deceased soldiers families to choose which prayers, if any, were to be read at a soldiers funeral.  (He was) said to be attempting to impose Christian ceremonies on the military funerals of everybody who has served in the military, regardless of whether or not the deceased was Christian and with or without the consent of the family of the deceased."  As with most Texas Republicans, I consider Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh favorite Mr. McCaul one of the great threats of my lifetime.  And I'm 64 and have lived in Texas for many decades.

Channah
Channah

@alohajoe0007 Particularly the GOP--thinking they can somehow make Obama look as if he does not care, does not want to think about it.  Obama and Putin have worked hard for a safe games.

keithsymington
keithsymington

@mrbomb13  Because those guys, while indeed concerned, are not in this case running around talking about how "something will detonate" and overall dont seem as hell-bent on cultivating a mood of hysterical fear  and planting little seeks of political propaganda as these GOPers do, that fundamentalist nutter McCaul especially.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@stevek77536  Here we go again. Openly gay woman. What is wrong with just a mayor period. Re your accusation of McCaul not true. Not true. please be more selective in your references.

Channah
Channah

@stevek77536 Texas is scary.  With the number of children in school there, they can demand what is in text books thruout the country, as what they want (no evolution, Christian beliefs only-the Bible belt fire and brimstone, anti this and anti that, etc.,).  The book companies cannot afford to print all different types of books and Texas orders so many they rule what is in them as they are printed for the whole country. 


My congratulations to you, stevek77536.  I  could not have put up with them that long.  I am in my 70s, and I am to the point I now say what I think is right and how I believe-----not what I am suppose to say and believe.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@stevek77536  Thanks for the added context Steve. 

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@Channah @alohajoe0007 Ha ha ha. Funny.  Obama and Putin have worked hard for a safe games. LOL Somehow hard work and Obama does not seem does not sound right.

stevek77536
stevek77536

@ReneDemonteverde  The mayor's recent marriage was a major story in the Houston Chronicle, and many of us consider it a sign of progress that she is so highly regarded.  Texas has not been known for such open mindedness.  The story abou Mr. McCaul's controversy is straight from Wikipedia, who is pretty careful about editing out false information.  I stand by my statements.

stevek77536
stevek77536

@Channah @stevek77536  Texas is a very large state with a lot of different political groups.  All the big cities, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, voted for Obama.  The rural areas are much more conservative.  But keep in mind the mayor of Houston is an openly gay woman who recently got married to her partner ... in some other state ... and is quite popular here in Houston.  So don't think of Texas as all bad.  Just the statewide officeholders, and most of the Congressional folks.  OK, that's pretty bad, but still ...