Russian intelligence and security forces, in tandem with several of their international counterparts, were said Wednesday to have prevented a series of terrorist attacks at this year’s Winter Olympics, which took place February 7-23 in the Russian city of Sochi.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and “colleagues from the United States, Austria, France, Germany and Georgia” were able to expose “a group of people planning terrorist attacks on Olympic venues in Sochi,” FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov told the Russian RIA Novosti news service.
“Together with our foreign counterparts we managed to thwart these attacks,” he added.
Bortnikov said that terrorism was a “transnational crime” which affects some 70 countries around the world, with Russia being a prime target due to Moscow’s “strong stand on terrorism and its strict counter-terrorism efforts”
Russian agencies have already averted 28 terror incidents in 2014, he said. Partly in reaction to the phenomenon of Russian nationals travelling to Syria and receiving training there, “new norms have been introduced to the country’s legal code stipulating harsh punishment for training in terrorist camps, as well as setting up, leading or financing terrorist organizations,” Bortnikov added.
Ahead of the Olympic games, there was speculation that Russia would have a major security problem in Sochi because the games were seen as a prime target for a terror attack. Russia has seen several major attacks in recent years, many carried out by Chechen separatists.