Security and politics of the Olympic Games
File under “off the beaten path” but here’s a suggested topic from a frequent commenter regarding Russia’s handling of security and terrorism in relation to the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi.
Report from CBC:
An Islamic militant group in Russia’s North Caucasus claimed responsibility Sunday for twin suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd last month and posted a video threatening to strike the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
There had been no previous claim of responsibility for the bombings, which killed 34 people and heightened security fears before next month’s Winter Games.
In the video, two Russian-speaking men warned President Vladimir Putin that “If you hold these Olympics, we will give you a present for the innocent Muslim blood being spilled all around the world: In Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Syria.”
They added that “for the tourists who come, there will be a present, too.”
In a statement posted with the video on its website, the militant group Vilayat Dagestan claimed responsibility for the Volgograd bombings.
The video claims that the two men, identified as Suleiman and Abdurakhman, were the suicide bombers and purports to show the explosives being prepared and strapped to their bodies.
There was no immediate reaction to the video from the Russian security services.
Russia has been locked in a battle with Chechnya for a couple centuries now and the Olympic Games are once again putting a worldwide spotlight on the conflict.
Here’s some exit questions for discussion: If there is a terrorist attack during the Russian Olympics, won’t that
just give Russia an excuse to attack Chechnya? If that occurs, wouldn’t that blunt our criticism of their actions?