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U.S. lawmakers: Winter Olympics aren't safe

U.S. lawmakers: Winter Olympics aren't safe
MGN Online
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Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 12:33pm

Members of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees say they are extremely concerned about security surrounding next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he wouldn't go to the games himself - "and I don't think I would send my family," he told CNN's State of the Union.

Russia has created a large security zone around the games, brought in thousands of extra police and troops to provide security and is spending billions of dollars to try and keep the games safe. But a pair of December bombings in the city of Volgograd that killed more than 30 people have raised concerns about attacks on the games.

"It's a very serious fear because the Olympics are being held in an area where there's a history of terrorist activity, where there's been a lot of tension between Islamists in that area and the government of Russia," King said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged that visitors will be kept safe at the Olympics, due to start in less than three weeks. In an interview with half a dozen Russian and international broadcasters, Putin said about 40,000 members of Russia's police and security forces would be guarding the events.

"We will try to make certain that the security measures are not intrusive or too conspicuous, so they are not too noticeable for the athletes, the Olympics' guests or journalists," Putin said.

"But at the same time, we will do our utmost to ensure that they are effective."

The FBI announced earlier this month they would be sending special agents to Sochi to assist the Russians in counterterrorism. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also called on the Russian government to be more cooperative with the United States on intelligence sharing ahead of the games.

"Their level of concern is great, but we don't seem to be getting all of the information we need to protect our athletes in the games. I think this needs to change, and it should change soon," Rogers told CNN's "State of the Union."
 

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