The Sochi Games are about three weeks away, and former Olympic security adviser Bill Rathburn is convinced that terrorists are going to attempt to make a statement.
“The security threat is higher than it's ever been in the history of the Olympic Games,” he said to Yahoo. “In my opinion, it's not a matter of whether there will be some incident, it's just a matter of how bad it's going to be.”
Rathburn was the director of security for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta and has served in various advisory capacities for six other Olympics. He says his biggest concern is with Doku Umarov, the Chechen rebel leader who's advocated that extremists try to interrupt the Games.
“To my knowledge, this is the only Olympics that have had an announced, credible threat well prior to the Games. Unless the Russians can take down the leadership and a significant number in that group, I think they're in for some real problems," Rathburn said.
Just last month, two separate bus attacks it the transportation hub city Volgograd left 31 people dead. That city lies around 400 miles northeast of Sochi, but is expected to be a giant transportation port for visitors.
President Putin has beefed up security directly around Sochi, but some experts are concerned that the high costs of protecting the actual site of the games may leave other cities exposed.
According to Yahoo, the U.S. ski and snowboard team has hired a private security firm, which will have up to five aircrafts ready on standby. Perhaps other U.S. outfits would do well to implement similar measures.