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House Homeland Security Chair calls Sochi threat 'greatest I've seen'

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

Rather than attention on the athletes themselves ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the discussion continues to boil down to the looming terrorist threat in Sochi, Russia.

After public threats from prominent terrorist groups and at least one report of security breach by a possible female suicide bomber, Rep. Mike McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, urged potential visitors to use caution, CBS News reported.

"I would say we should not scare people from attending the Olympics. It's a time-honored tradition. If we do not support our team and show up, I think the terrorists are winning and that's what they're trying to do here."

McCaul recently visited Sochi, saw the 100,000 security officials dispatched to protect a ring around Sochi, and still called it an unprecedented threat.

"The greatest [threat] I think I've ever seen because of the proximity of the terrorists to the Olympic Village," he said. "There's never been this connection between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Chechen rebels before. But for the first time, [al Qaeda leader Ayman] al-Zawahiri coming out and endorsing, blessing and calling for this global jihad against the Olympics, wow, that gives my great pause."

The security issues, social rights issues and stunning budget ($50 billion -- the most expensive ever) have all overshadowed what President Vladimir Putin hoped would be a showcase for his country.

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