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Security ultra-tight in Olympic city of Sochi but concerns remain

Updated: 2014-02-04 18:01:22 (KST)
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With just a few days left until the torch is lit to signal the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics, security measures have been stepped up even further amid serious concerns Islamist elements within Russia's restive south could be plotting a terrorist attack.
Experts point out terrorist elements may already be around the area, sitting like sleeper cells awaiting instructions.
Citing a bomb attack at a stadium in the Chechen capital, Grozny, in 2004, a security expert says the bomb used then was embedded in a concrete pillar three months prior to its detonation.
Ian von Gordon, director of a protection training institute, says Sochi is bound to be a target as extremist Islamist groups in Russia's Caucasus region have vowed to launch an attack if the Games go ahead in Sochi.
He says it's highly likely people with ties to these groups have applied to work as contractors or employees for construction companies used to build Olympic facilities.
Some 100-thousand contractors are estimated to have been working at Olympic venues, working as bus drivers or in sewer construction.
Security may be the main concern, but it isn't the only thing making officials sweat despite the chilly temperatures as much of the construction for athlete and media accommodation is still not completely finished.
With a record 51 billion U.S. dollars poured into the Games by the Russian government, hotels still sit unfinished, buildings unnamed and it's easy to spot people on ladders doing some last-minute fixing and drilling.
Although the sports venues are ready to go, the eyes of the world will be fixed to see whether Russia, with little experience of hosting huge events, has what it takes to successfully host one of the world's premium sporting events.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.


Reporter : connie1223@arirang.co.kr

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