A leading House Republican said Sunday that it’s probable that “something will detonate. Something will go off” as the Olympic Games are being held in Russia.
“It's probably most likely to happen outside of the ring of steel and the Olympic village,” said House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul of Texas in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
He said what poses the greatest threat is the location of the Sochi site “right dead center in the middle of what has been a historic battleground between Russia and the Chechen rebels that have now spun off into an Islamic or radical militant group.”
McCaul noted that the leader of the Chechen rebels Doku Umarov has called for attacks on the Olympics, “calling for attacks on civilians including women and children and then Zawahiri, the al Qaeda leader… reinforcing that threat.”
McCaul said he hoped his assessment was wrong, but “you're talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time. And… the eyes of the world are upon these Olympics. And the Chechen extremists know this. And they want to make a global statement. They want to make a jihad statement. And what better time to do it than right now?”
First published February 9 2014, 9:40 AM
Tom Curry is a National Affairs writer for NBCNews.com. He began reporting on politics and public policy for NBCNews.com in June 1996, when the site was msnbc.com.
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Before joining msnbc.com, Curry worked as a reporter/researcher for Time magazine where he reported on politics, business, social trends, and golf.
Curry reports to Politics Editor Vaughn Ververs.
He was awarded a Freedom Forum Foundation Journalism Fellowship in Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii in 1993 and a Hoover Institution Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in 2011.
He lives in Washington D.C.