World View: Fears of Terrorism at Sochi Russian Olympics Soar

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Fears of terrorism at Sochi Russian Olympics soar
  • U.S. military puts warships into Black Sea in case of Sochi terrorism
  • New Nato headquarters building in big financial trouble

Fears of terrorism at Sochi Russian Olympics soar

Sochi 'black widow' terror suspect Ruzanna Ibragimova (Russian Security Services)
Sochi 'black widow' terror suspect Ruzanna Ibragimova (Russian Security Services)

Russia's president Vladimir Putin rarely gives interviews to foreign media, but over the weekend several Western media services obtained "exclusive" interviews. Putin's purpose in appearing charming was to assure everyone that the Olympics would be safe, and to encourage people to come to Sochi for the games that begin on February 6, but events seem to be speeding past his PR attempts.

Russian police have been handing out fliers to hotels, warning them of a "Black Widow" terror suspect who may be planning terrorist attacks during the Sochi Olympics. The name "Black Widow" originally was applied to women who were avenging the deaths of their husbands during the 1990s Chechnya wars, but in recent years the term has referred to any of the increasing numbers of female suicide bombers. Terrorist groups prefer female suicide bombers because security officials often are prohibited from searching females, making the females more successful at being violent.

Russian security services may be looking for as many as four "Black Widows," including Ruzanna Ibragimova, the 22-year-old woman in the flyer. She uses the nickname Salima and she's the widow of an Islamic militant killed by Russian security sources last year. She is described as being affiliated with the Caucasus Emirate, the terror group led by Doku Umarov that has threatened attacks against the Winter Games in Sochi.

In other news, jihadists claiming to be responsible for the two suicide bombings in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) last month posted a video over the weekend threatening further suicide attacks during the Olympics. In a message directed at Putin, the jihadists said:

"That which we will do, that which we have done, is only a little example, a little step. We’ll have a surprise package for you. And those tourists that will come to you, for them, too, we have a surprise.

All of these events are raising fears and anxiety over terrorist attacks, especially among the 15,000 American who will be attending the Sochi games.

The two jihadists in the video claimed that they were from a terrorist organization in Iraq. If this turns out to be true, then it will be karmic justice for Putin, whose support for genocidal Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has encouraged Russian jihadists to go to the Syria-Iraq region for training and experience. AP and NBC News

U.S. military puts warships into Black Sea in case of Sochi terrorism

The U.S. military will move two warships into the Black Sea under a contingency plan to react to terrorism at the Sochi Olympics. If ordered to do so, they will launch helicopters to help evacuate American officials and athletes, and they will provide support to Russian security forces if requested by Russia to do so. In addition to the warships, C-17 transport aircraft would be on standby in Germany, and could reach the region in about two hours. CNN

New Nato headquarters building in big financial trouble

New Nato headquarters under construction in Brussels (Spiegel)
New Nato headquarters under construction in Brussels (Spiegel)

Nato is building a new headquarters building, a project that was decided at the Nato summit of government leaders in April 1999 in Washington. The budget was 1.05 billion euros, but now the consortium of firms building it is at risk of insolvency, and is requesting an additional 245 million euros. The building was supposed to be completed by September, but now it's going to be delayed 9-1/2 months. Nato's Deputies Committee has approved an immediate 20 million euros to prevent an immediate construction halt, but there's hostility to providing more money. Those who favor providing the money needed to complete construction give the following reasons:

  • High costs that would result from a halt to construction given the possible weather damage to the unfinished building, parts of which hadn't been fitted with windows yet.
  • The disastrous effect on the image of the alliance if construction were to stop and if Nato appeared to be incapable of punctually completing a construction project that was decided at the NATO summit of government leaders in April 1999 in Washington.
The construction financial crisis is an embarrassment for outgoing NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, under whose management the crisis occurred. Spiegel


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