Sochi Games Open amid Toothpaste Terror Threat
As the Sochi Olympics get underway in Russia, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is issuing a warning to travelers that terrorists may try to use toothpaste tubes filled with explosives to create a bomb.
These games are a massive stage for President Vladimir Putin to project Russia's strength to the world, and he has vowed to crack down hard on any potential threats.
Russian authorities have set up the so called "ring of steel," a massive security zone around the Sochi Olympic site stretching for some 1,500 miles and fortified by up to 70,000 Russian soldiers and federal security agents.
***CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck talked more about the terror threat facing the Olympic games on The 700 Club, Feb. 6.
Sochi is located in Russia's North Caucasus region, only 300 miles from Islamic terrorist hotspots like Chechnya and Dagestan.
Linked to al Qaeda, jihadists in these two areas want to break away from mother Russia and form an Islamic emirate.
They've carried out countless attacks against Russian interests during the past decade or so. Now they're threatening to strike the Olympics.
In recent weeks, authorities in and around Sochi have been on the lookout for so-called black widows, female suicide bombers from Chechnya and Dagestan who have a deadly track record.
Such threats are clearly on the minds of Americans. A Pew Research Center poll showed that some 44 percent of Americans say holding the Olympics in Sochi is a mistake.
For now, however, some American athletes don't seem too worried.
"I know, there have been a lot of concerns about the security, but I am not concerned," short track speed skater Alyson Dudek said. "I think the Organizing Committee has done an amazing job of making sure everything is safe. Personally, I feel very safe here."
One potential problem: with all the security focused around Sochi, some analysts have warned that terrorists could strike other Russian cities during the games.