Terrorists are as serious about disrupting the Winter Olympics as Russian security forces are about protecting them, says Peter Brookes, a senior fellow and national security affairs expert with the Heritage Foundation.
"The Russians had seven years to prepare, but so have the terrorists," Brookes told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"It's not as if these . . . games were announced last week and the terrorists had to scramble around and try to get people inside of Sochi, inside this 'ring of steel,' as the Russians are calling it," Brookes said Wednesday.
"They've had six years, almost seven years to undertake sleeper cells, undertake plans to recruit a lone wolf who might do something."
Brookes said that while he is not trying to sound alarmist, officials put the Olympics "basically in the backyard of a major Islamist terrorist insurgency and, because of that, there are significant risks to these tremendous games."
He says he hopes the Russians are correct in their boasts that their security is second to none.
"Russians are nationalistic . . . I hope that the public bravado put on by the Russians is actually matched privately by a lot of cooperation," he said.
"International cooperation is critical to preventing international terrorism, and as good as the Russians are, the Americans are better."
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