Washington: US intelligence officials are frustrated that the Russian government is withholding information about threats to Olympic venues coming from inside Russia, several lawmakers said on talk shows on Sunday.
“We aren’t getting the kind of cooperation that we’d like from the Russians in terms of their internal threats,” Representative Adam Schiff, a Democatic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News Sunday.
“It means that we’re less effective in protecting our people, and that’s a frustration,” Mr Schiff said.
More than 70,000 Russian security officers have been deployed to protect the Olympic venues in Sochi. Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the layers of security around Sochi as the “ring of steel.”
The United States has set up a command center in Sochi with about 150 security personnel from the FBI, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that the Russians, so far, have been cooperative when it comes to sharing information about potential terrorist operations planned outside of Russia.
Mr McCaul toured the security installations in Sochi last month and said the Olympic Village in Sochi appeared to be well fortified. But Mr McCaul said he thinks there is a “high degree of probability” that a bomb will detonate in the surrounding region, where Russia has been fighting an Islamist separatist movement in Chechnya, Dagestan and elsewhere.
“I hope I’m wrong in this assessment, but you’re talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time,” Mr McCaul said.
Full article: Russia withholds information on Olympic threats, US lawmakers say (Sidney Morning Herald)