MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) – The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is sending dozens of its personnel to Russia to help secure the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi from possible terror attacks, its director told reporters.
FBI director James Comey said about two dozen agents and other personnel will be sent to Moscow and more than a dozen others will be based in the Black Sea resort that is hosting the Winter Olympics from February 7 to 23. Some of them are already there, he told the Wall Street Journal.
“Securing any Olympics is an enormous task,” the Washington Post quoted Comey as saying. “I think it’s particularly challenging in Sochi because of its proximity to areas of unrest and sources of a terrorist threat.”
Comey said although his agency is willing to help Russia, security at the Games is ultimately Moscow’s responsibility. He also expressed confidence that Russia will keep the Games safe.
“I think the Russian government understands the threat and is devoting the resources to address it,” Comey told Reuters.
Russia launched the largest security operation in Olympic history this week in a bid to prevent terrorism, particularly from the neighboring North Caucasus, a region plagued by an Islamist insurgency.
Security was tightened for Sochi after two suicide bombers killed 34 people and injured more than 100 late last month in attacks on Volgograd's main train station and on a trolleybus. The city is 630 kilometers (400 miles) from Sochi.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Volgograd, but the Russian security services believe they were the work of Islamic militants from the North Caucasus region.