The United States can protect its athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics only so far because the Russian security forces are really running the show, according to former CIA covert agent Mike Baker.
"If there's an incident, it's Russian territory. It's their turf," Baker, now host of The Travel Channel's "America Declassified," said on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We can position all the ships outside of Russia that we want, but we're not going in, we're not doing anything unless the Russians approve it. So we're in a bit of a bind . . . "We're doing everything possible to try to cooperate and share intelligence and provide resources to the Russians, but they're very nationalistic and they're not inclined to admit that they need help."
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Baker believes terrorists are particularly set on trying to embarrass Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Putin has staked his personal reputation and the reputation and resurgence, in a way, of Russia on these Olympics and that is a red flag . . . to a bull for the Islamic fundamentalists," he said.
"They know that what they're doing is they're embarrassing Putin on the world stage and that's why they're so highly motivated."
Baker also called President Barack Obama's recent interview with the New Yorker magazine, in which he compared al-Qaida to a junior varsity sports team, "mindless in a way . . . very sort of amateurish."
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