UPDATE – Sochi 2014 Olympics: Security and the problems Russia will face ensuring it!

Michael Haltman | January 9, 2014 

UPDATE Friday January 10, 2014: 'Russia on alert after five bodies found with gunshot wounds' - 'Russian security forces are on alert after the discovery of an explosive device and at least five bodies with gunshot wounds in the southern region of Stavropol...'



The two terrorist attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd have shown the world that security, and instilling confidence in that security, is gong to be job #1 for the government of the host country!

Who among us that are old enough to remember can ever forget the horror that played out on television during the Munich Olympics back in 1972 when Palestinian terrorists slaughtered 11 Israeli athletes and coaches and a member of the West German police.

Fast forward 44 years and the two things that are absolutely certain for the 2014 Sochi Games are that the potential for terrorist attacks occurring will be the #1 concern and that Russian President Vladimir Putin will do anything and everything to make sure that these Olympics go off without a hitch.

The question is whether he has the capacity to ensure that they do?

From STRATFOR Global Intelligence is an analysis of the issues surrounding this global event!

Sochi 2014: A Security Challenge

Summary

The Russian city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23 and the Paralympics from March 7 to March 16. Russia is no stranger to hosting high-profile global events; it hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics and is preparing for the 2018 World Cup final.

Though the 2014 games seemingly offer Moscow a perfect platform for showcasing the strength of its security apparatus, Russia will have to work overtime to protect athletes and spectators. This in turn could leave surrounding regions such as the Northern Caucasus and major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg exposed to militancy, terrorism and organized crime. Militants from the Caucasus striking elsewhere in Russia during the games to avoid the intense security that will be present in Sochi and to capitalize on news coverage of the highly publicized event pose the greatest threat to the games.

Analysis

Security Preparations

Russian security forces possess the experience and numbers necessary to provide for safe Olympic Games. They will have an intense multilayered system in place throughout Sochi. The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, or the FSB, is the primary security agency in Russia -- it is the successor to the Soviet KGB and the country's chief counterterrorism agency -- and has taken the lead in guaranteeing security for the Sochi Olympics since 2010.

The FSB will lead close to 100,000 security personnel in securing the games and Sochi overall. Other elements involved in Olympic security operations will be in place:

Read the entire article at STRATFOR here.

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