Security expert: It's not if but when for Sochi Olympics terror attack
Veteran security consultant Bill Rathburn hopes that he’s wrong about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia, but he has more than a hunch that he’s not.
“The security threat is higher than it’s ever been in the history of the Olympic Games,” Rathburn told Yahoo News. “In my opinion, it’s not a matter of whether there will be some incident, it’s just a matter of how bad it’s going to be.”Rathburn, a former police chief in Los Angeles and Dallas, directed security for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta and served in various planning roles for six other Olympics.
Rathburn’s biggest concern is with Doku Umarov, described by some as “Russia’s bin Laden.” Six months ago the Chechen rebel leader threatened attacks on civilians in Russia and urged Islamic separatists to use force to disrupt the Olympics, which he described as "satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors."
Since Umarov’s threat, three suicide bombers have killed more than 40 people and injured more than 100 in Volgograd, a major transportation hub 430 miles northeast of Sochi, a resort town where the Games will take place. The two most recent attacks came just a few weeks ago.
“To my knowledge this is the only Olympics that have had an announced, credible threat well prior to the Games,” Rathburn said. “Unless the Russians can take down the leadership and a significant number of that group or his followers before the Olympics, I think they’re in for some major problems.”