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US Intel Sees Uptick in Olympic Threat Reports

Updated: 01/29/2014 8:24 PM
Created: 01/29/2014 11:16 AM KSTP.com
By: Scott Theisen

There has been an uptick in reports of security threats against next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but the key concern for an attack centers on locations outside the main event areas, a top U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday.
    
Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that there is extensive security at the sports venues in Sochi.
    
But, he added, "The greater threat is to softer targets in the greater Sochi area, and in the outskirts, beyond Sochi, where there is a substantial potential for a terrorist attack."
    
FBI Director James Comey told the panel that U.S. cooperation with the Russian Security Service has improved, and officials from the two agencies have discussed the Sochi threat.
    
In a separate development, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke Wednesday with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to discuss Olympic security. Hagel pledged U.S. assistance, if requested. Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Hagel made no specific offer of aid, and Shoigu made no particular requests.
    
But Kirby said the two leaders agreed that their military officers would continue some type of regular contact through the Games in order to keep communication lines open in case assistance was needed.
    
Russia is mounting a massive security operation for the Olympics, deploying more than 50,000 police and soldiers amid threats from Muslim insurgents from the nearby Caucasus region.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

Security personnel check Olympic volunteers' credentials before entering the Olympic Park ahead the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Photo: AP/Pavel Golovkin
Russian soldiers fold a tarp in front of Tor-M1 air defense missile systems overlooking the Olympic Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The deployment of missiles is part of sweeping security measures.
Photo: AP/Pavel Golovkin
In a photo taken through a fence, security personnel patrol a boardwalk outside the Olympic Park as security measures are put into place ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Photo: AP/Pavel Golovkin

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