Romney: 'Risk' of Terrorism Exists at Sochi Olympics

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 10:01 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called security preparations for the upcoming 2014 Olympic games in Sochi "unprecedented," but said there's "a degree of risk" at the Olympics.

"There's never been a games, that I know of, that has been so targeted for specific threats, as you're seeing in Sochi. At the same time, the level of security preparations appears to be at an unprecedented level," Romney told NBC's "Today" show Friday.

Romney knows firsthand about security for the Olympic games. He headed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Security was of particular concern that year, as the games followed on the heels of the on Sept 11, 2001, U.S. terrorist attacks.

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Concern for the 2014 winter games is mounting after three suicide bombers attacked two Russian cities during the past two months. The attacks killed more than 30 people. New threats target athletes from the U.S., Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary and Italy, according to Fox News.

Romney said he would feel comfortable sending his family to the Olympics, but added there was "a degree of risk" living in a world "where terrorism exists." While he thought the "hard sites" would be safe, Romney said there was a degree of risk for the "soft places."

"I think people can recognize that the hard sites will be safe. The athletes will be safe. Spectators, when they're in the venues, will be safe. But, it's the soft places you can't be 100 percent certain will be entirely safe," he said.

Intelligence was key to ensuring the games were secure, Romney said. He called it "pretty good intelligence" if officials were searching for specific suspected terrorists, as their hunt for the suspected suicide bomber, the "black widow." Overall, he said it appeared the Russians had done "everything humanly possible" to protect the Sochi Olympics.

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