Sochi safety is questionable. Although the 2014 Winter Olympics are being held there, it is typical to wonder about the safety of the athletes and other people who are at the Russian city at the moment. There are actually threats throughout the area that should raise red flags if you are there as a spectator to the Olympics.
Russia’s most wanted terrorist, Doku Umarov, made sure to urge his followers to attack during the games. In addition to him, there are women who are known as “Black Widows” who are also terrorists in Sochi. These include 26 year old Zaira Aliyeva, 34 year old Dzannet Tsakhayeva and 22 year old Ruzanna Ibragimova. They are suspected female suicide bombers who were trained to commit acts of terrorism. Ibragimova is the widow of a suicide bomber and is reporter to be at large in the city.
In a scary statistic, there have been a total of 1,500 violent acts that have occurred in the Caucasus region since January 2010. This region of course includes Sochi. More recently, in October 2013, 30 people were killed in a bombing at a train station in Volograd, which is 600 miles north of Sochi. A day later, a female suicide bomber targeted a bus in the same area, resulting in 10 people being killed and dozens more being wounded.
Olympic attacks are nothing new. In 1972, in Munich, Germany, nine Israeli athletes were killed by Black September terrorists. In Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, one person was killed and over 100 more were injured in 1996. In 2008, in Beijing, China, 16 police officers were killed.
How good is security at Sochi during the Winter Olympics? As many as 75,000 visitors are allowed into Olympic Park on a daily basis. Security requires these individuals to show their IDs frequently. Any and all Internet traffic is closely monitored by a surveillance system, the 58th Army will secure the border between Russia and Georgia and there is additional 24 hour surveillance by robots, patrol boats, drones and sonar systems.
Troops securing the Olympic area will be armed and ready. Soldiers are required to carry AK-12 assault rifles, underwater machine guns and additional defense mechanisms. This means that policing in the area will be heavy.
There will be 18 days for Sochi games during the Olympics, with 11 venues used. It consists of 6,000 athletes and 25,000 volunteers, with an estimated cost of $50 billion.
Taking all of this into consideration, why would anyone come to see the 2014 Winter Olympics live? There is a total of 1,539 hours of coverage on multiple channels, including NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and NBC Sports Network. It is better to be safe than sorry.