Lifestyle & Belief

Russian security services uncover plot to bomb 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi


Race technicians ski down a hill at the Rosa Khutor Mountain Resort in Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi on Feb. 18, 2012. The Games to be held there in 2014 will be the biggest international event hosted by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union


Olivier Morin

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has uncovered a plot by Islamist militant to attack the Black Sea resort of Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Voice of America says that the National Anti-Terror Committee reports carrying out raids in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia and finding "a cache of portable surface-to-air missiles, grenade launchers and explosives."

They were found at ten different depots uncovered by the joint Russian-Abkhaz security operation that started in August 2011, Radio Free Europe explains.

"Russia's FSB could establish that militants were planning to move these weapons to Sochi during 2012-2014 to use for terror acts while planning and hosting the Olympic Games," the Committee said in a statement.

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The Committee also it believed that the Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov masterminded the plot and that Georgia's security services had cooperated, according to the BBC.

Georgian officials denied the claim, with Shota Khizanishvili, chief of staff at Georgia's interior ministry, telling Associated Press: "I can only say that the national anti-terrorist committee is staffed with people with peculiar fantasies."

RIA Novosti says that three suspected ringleaders tied to the North Caucasus-based terrorist group Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz) were arrested in Abkhazia on May 4 to 5 over the plot.

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The Caucasus Emirate has been fighting to win the Caucasus region from Russia to set up an Islamist state, says The Guardian, adding that it has taken responsibility for devastating attacks on Russian territory in the past.  This includes the 2010 bombing of the Moscow metro and an attack on Moscow airport last year.