U.S. Intelligence: New Airline Warning for Sochi Games
Security leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has been a major concern in Russia, with terrorist bombings and threats hanging over the heads of visitors and competitors. This has led to heightened scrutiny, with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, staking his reputation on the safety of the games. Of particular concern have been the women suicide bombers known as the “black widows” who made threats against the events held in Sochi.
Now, according to the Economic Times, the Chair of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul, said that Homeland Security has released a bulletin to those airlines that will be going into Russia to alert them to a previously unknown threat — that of possible methods of putting explosives on these flights, either to detonate there or to sneak them into Sochi itself. The U.S. intelligence warns that explosives could be smuggled into toothpaste and cosmetic containers on flights headed into the area.
A U.S. law official stated that there are no specific threats to Americans, but that the information on possible airline bombs is solid. “It’s real. It’s real and we got good information. It’s based on a credible source. We’re taking it seriously. So are other countries,” said the official, according to the Economic Times.
The statement from the Department of Homeland Security noted that “out of an abundance of caution,” the agency sometimes gives information such as this to international allies. “While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority. As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment,” it said, according to the Economic Times.