As the countdown to the 2014 Winter Games ticks away, security tightens around the world to repel terrorist threats at the Sochi Olympics.
Olympic security has become a priority after rumors of attacks on the Sochi grounds leave athletes and the world unsettled. On the home front, U.S. airlines with international flights scheduled to land in Moscow are under strict security guidelines, with special scrutiny of toothpaste tubes, rumored to potentially contain explosives.
According to ABC News, these hidden toothpaste explosives could be used to either bring down a plane en route to Russia or to get explosives into Sochi and cause violence on Olympic sites. Other media reports, like those in The Washington Post, claim there are already “Black Widow” terrorists loose inside Sochi.
Olympic experts believe that the return of the Olympic Games to Russia is a test for the country and their government. President Vladimir Putin has made this international event his pride and joy and been extremely involved in planning. However, looming reports of Olympic fund corruption, hostile living environments, inhumane campaigns to rid the streets of stray dogs, and controversial propaganda in addition to the possibility of terrorists on the loose add greater pressure for the host country.
Olympic security officials say that the threats made in Summer 2013 by militant group Caucasus Emirate urging Islamic separatists to “disrupt” the Games are the first credible threats in recent years.
The Winter Games, scheduled Feb 7 to 23, have already begun early competitions and it is certain that the world will have a close eye on Sochi throughout the duration of the Games. According to a poll taken by CNN, 57 percent of Americans think a terrorist attack is likely. An alarmingly high percentage for a worldwide event that could risk devastation if an attack were to occur.
Twitter users from around the world have not hesitated to share their disdain and concern over the controversial Games that have just begun. “Sochi” and “Olympic” are currently trending, and constant tweets from athletes, journalists and fans will allow the world to stay updated each second on all Olympic action.
Olympic fans and viewers are now left to anxiously watch the competitions, events and culture with hopes that the 2014 Sochi Winter Games will make history with endeavors of inspiration, not devastation.
Do you fear that an imminent terrorist attack could devastate the Sochi Winter Olympics? Do you think the Russian government has taken proper precautions to ensure safety of viewers and athletes?
Follow @Sochi2014 and @SochiNYT to stay constantly updated on all Winter Games action.