Peter King, Mike Rogers: 'High Probability' of Terrorist Strike at Sochi

Sunday, 09 Feb 2014 01:00 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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There are unparalleled security measures underway at the 2016 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but three American Republican lawmakers said Sunday they still have concerns about terrorism issues at and outside the games -- and one said there is a "high probability" that something will happen.

Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee; Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the the House Homeland Security Committee; and New York Rep. Peter King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, all speaking on Sunday morning's talk shows, agreed that "soft" targets are the largest security concern surrounding the winter games.

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The threat of terrorism, said McCaul, "is specific and credible." Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken of the "ring of steel" surrounding the Olympic venues and village themselves, and that ring is "very fortified," the Texas lawmaker said.

However, "I think any Olympics is going to have a certain risk to it," McCaul said, nothing that he has never seen a bigger threat than for the Sochi games.

The threats are more for the "soft targets" outside the perimeter of the games themselves, said McCaul, because of the proximity and location" of where the games are being held in the middle of the historic battleground between Russia and rebel forces fighting the government, and there is a "high probability" that there will be an explosion of some kind before the games are over.

"I hope I'm wrong," McCaul told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, "but you're talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time. The eyes of the world are upon this Olympics. The Chechen rebels know this...what better time to do it than right now? They don't have to hit in the ring of steel. As long as it is somewhere in Russia, to them that's a victory."

Rogers told ABC This Week guest host Martha Raddatz that he believes the security has been done well not just for the Olympics site itself, but with "aggressive counter terrorism activities."

He noted that countries are working together, except he believes there is a weakness when it comes to with Russia's reluctance to share internal intelligence with the FBI and CIA.

Rogers noted there is still concern over so-called "black widow" terrorists, or women whose Chechen rebel husbands have been killed by Russian government forces.

"We know there are individuals who fit those descriptions," said Rogers. "It is something they're looking for, and they are trying to use every piece of intelligence they have," noting that hopefully, individuals can be stopped before they can get through the Olympics' security rings.

Rogers noted that all the preparations have been made to protect U.S. athletes, and if there is an emergency requiring an evacuation, "it would happen in good order."

King, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," told host Bob Schieffer that there are still several weeks to go in the Olympics, and he still believes there could be a "dangerous situation."

"So far, so good, but there are still several weeks to go," King said. "Hopefully this will continue. The worst thing we can do is for anybody to let their guard down."

He also noted that the Russians are reluctant to give the United States intelligence community internal details "that will give us their methods. But there is still more sharing than there had been."

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