The 2014 Winter Olympics will begin in February in Sochi, Russia, but they may not be all fun and games this year.
The “Black Widow” terrorists have made a threat to implement a suicide bombing mission at the opening ceremonies on February 7. The threat has been ongoing and is a deep concern of Russian officials and Olympic security.
The “Black Widow” terrorists are a group of woman Islamic extremists, who are supporters of the jihad. They were made known by their Moscow theater hostage crisis in 2002. They are known as the “Black Widows” because many of their husbands were killed by Russians in Chechnya.
There will be thousands upon thousands of people at the games, and security is a major concern. “The problem is that when you need to stop a lone-wolf suicide bomber, you need to think about government intelligence. You need to think about preventive measures,” said Andrei Soldatov, a Russian security expert, to NBC News. “But not about the number of troops you can put on the ground.”
Two of the suspects who were recently identified are being hunted at this moment, and they are Jhannet Tsakhaeva, 34, and Oksana Aslanova, 26. One female suspect was killed by Russian security officials on Sunday.
The majority of this group is made up of young women who plan to bomb the last stages of the torch running. The group originated in Chechnya, but some come from Central Asia and different sub-regions of Russia.
It appears that security measures are more than sufficient for the games next month. NBC will be covering the Olympics throughout February, including the opening ceremony, and much of their staff will be in Sochi to commentate, record, etc. Obviously, security would be a concern for a group with such a large amount of people in a threatened area. However, they are not worried. “We have never seen the type of security that we are seeing in Russia,” says NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel. “We are overwhelmed and comfortable with the amount of security that has been deployed.”
This confidence and comfort in the Russians’ security measures is supported simply with numbers. 40,000 police and military members are being deployed in order to protect athletes, workers and spectators alike. An expected 2,300 of these people will be NBC workers. The United States will send in ships in the event that an evacuation would be necessary. On top of all of this, many other countries have taken interest and concern in the issue.
What will happen, nobody can say. Are the Olympics safe? They’re as safe as they can be.