US nationals planning to be a part of the Winter Olympics which are to be held in Sochi, Russia needs to be vigilant about their security. US State Department has issued travel alerts for people planning to attend the games. Six potential security threats have been identified by the department – terrorism, lack of availability of proper accommodation options, volatile public demonstrations, improper medical treatment facilities, petty crimes and Russia’s newly introduced policies that publically oppose LGBT rights.
In the travel alert, the officials said that big events like Olympics are attractive settings for the terrorists and while being there, Americans should stay alert and aware of their surroundings, especially while using public transportation. Recently, in the month of December terrorist attacks took place in the City of Volgograd, which is some 600 miles away from Sochi. According to the department, the areas surrounding Sochi are the most vulnerable and therefore people planning to attend Olympics should be very careful while travelling to Sochi via these neighbourhoods.
The State Department also revealed that a terrorist group called, ‘Caucasus Empire’ has threatened to attack the Olympics. Although, the group’s capabilities to strike is still not clear, there are evidences that it was responsible for powerful attacks on targets such as a ski resort, a high-speed rail and an airport. FBI Director, James Corney on the other hand assures the citizens that Russian government has promises to take appropriate safety measures to look after the security of athletes, viewers and infrastructure of the Games.
He said that the Russians are allocating a considerable amount of resources and efforts to make sure that the Games run smoothly without any security threats. James also added that FBI is in regular touch with the Russian security organisation to ensure everyone’s well-being. “Securing an event which is as big as the Olympics is a gigantic task and it’s specifically challenging in Sochi since it is located near the areas of unrest. The Russian government knows the situation and is devoting the requisite time and resources to address it.”