Attacks in Russia Raise Olympic Fears

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Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) –- Stratfor Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton, Barnard College Professor & Chair of Political Science Kimberly Marten and Former Director of Homeland Security & Counterterrorism at CSIS Rick Nelson discuss what Russia can do to protect Sochi and ease the fears at the Olympic games with Julie Hyman and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

When you look at this situation, there has been a lot of talk about security, not just at the games but elsewhere in russia, surrounding the games.

Someone who has had experience securing an olympic games, what do you think russia can do our needs to do in this situation?

It's going to be extraordinarily difficult to secure the transportation hub leading in and out of the olympic venue.

Having protected olympic athletes at these kinds of events before, the focus will gear down toward the olympic village to make sure that the athletes are safe.

It really is a daunting challenge to try to just secure the perimeter and the infrastructure leading to and from sochi.

Let me bring in kimberly.

For russians, as opposed to what we have to deal with in our free country here, they can just throw people in prison whenever they want, accuse them of tax evasion's or get some punk rock girls and throw them in a work camp.

They're putting so many resources into protecting sochi.

Putin has a personal stake in making it work.

The person who leads the southern federal district is a very close food and ally.

So everyone has a strong interest in making sure that security in sochi, moscow, and st.

Petersburg works well.

My biggest concern is about rush outside of those areas.

My concern is for the russian population, not the foreigners coming in.

So they could hit a soft target a few hundred miles away.

They will pick another city to hit or another set of soft targets.

If they're protecting train stations, they could hit soccer fields.

Who knows what they will do next?

Greg scheuer talking about a country where there is a certain ability to restrict movement, for instance of people or to jail people if that is needed.

With a focus on sochi, how do you see these type of terror acts happening?

It has been talked about a lot that there would be issues outside of the area where the olympics are being held.

This is a very potent situation where these terrorist groups -- this particular instance, you have some groups that have had a low level conflict with russia for over a decade now.

They have a visible target in the sochi olympics and at the same time they have the rest of the country which may receive less protection because russia is still focused on so she.

The russians are in quite a security conundrum here, even though they have extensive capabilities.

Put it into context for us, fred.

When we think about terrorists, we typically think about qaeda.

What kind of terrorist are we talking about here in russia?

Looking at the kind of attack that it is feasible we will see continue, meaning it looks like until the russians hunt down the actual bomb maker with the forensics linking the two blast, that is going to be critical.

First and foremost that is on their minds.

I can tell you firsthand the challenges, for example in atlanta, the bomb went off outside the security perimeter in centennial park.

It is really difficult to clamp down all of your soft target sets from hotels to buses to any other kind of mass transit going in and out of the city.

So who are we talking about, really?

It is not al qaeda that is causing problems for vladimir putin.

They have their own slew of terrorist organizations in the area.

One group has been fighting in the chechen insurgency for 15 years and is now heading up the islamic insurgent group.

It is not very well organized.

They are loosely organized and he has called on his followers to do everything they can to disrupt sochi.

One thing important to keep in mind is that the russian government is only going to allow people into the sochi area who were on the official government approved list.

It's going to be difficult for outsiders to get in.

You were talking about how putin can throw anyone in jail.

One of the things that has made the insurgency last is the antiterrorist techniques have been so violent and indiscriminate that you have a large population of people throughout the north caucasus who are feeling despair.

That adds to the potency of the cost.

It is a tactic that you would try to increase these terrorist attacks to increase the crackdown, and then increase the sympathy.

So it is a tertiary effect that could be a goal of this.

I think you're absolutely right.

My concern is it will lead to a massive ethnic conflict after the sochi games.

Putin is going to be reluctant to make any mistakes, but then afterwards, to keep himself in power and reassure his closest supporters, he has a strong incentive to take up the cause of as nick russian or nationalism.

I am concerned about the long- term consequences.

Can the international community offer or does it want to offer vladimir putin and russia any help in this?

We have obviously dealt with these issues before.

We have intelligence and assets that we could add to sochi.

Are we going to?

We do, and we will be looking to protect our athletes and those of the international community.

The problem is twofold.

Russia has not always been willing, open, receptive to getting u.s. or even international assistance on these times of manners -- of matters.

Because there are not direct threats to the u.s. or the u.s. interest, we do not have the depth of intelligence as we would with other targets.

Kimberly, very quickly, if this scenario unfolds like you described in the wake of the gains, international pressure has not historically made a big difference to international pressure.

There's not much the international community can do at this point because putin has

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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