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Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Americans attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi should be "vigilant," but he would let his own daughter go despite security concerns.
Just a day after Washington warned airlines that terrorists might try to smuggle bombs onto Russian flights using toothpaste tubes, Kerry said there is no reason people should avoid the games that militants have vowed to disrupt with violence.
"We want the Olympics to be a terrific success but obviously because of the chatter that has existed previously, people just need to be vigilant, they need to be attentive," he told NBC News' Ann Curry.
"If we have any information that's specific we will put it out," he added. "But at this point we've said to people, 'If you want to go the Olympics, go to the Olympics. You should.'"
Kerry was asked whether, given what he knows about the security situation in Russia, he would allow one of his daughters to travel to Sochi.
"Based on the information I have, yes," he said.
"But again, if there's something more specific, if there's something that's challenging, we'll obviously make people aware of it.
"I don't have that specific information at this point in time, although there is a generic level of intensive focus on the Olympics, because of what happened a few months ago," he said, referring to bombings in the Caucasus region.
"If an American wants to go, including my daughter, I would say go," he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters the country can guarantee the safety of Olympic athletes and fans "as well as any government can at any public event."
"I'm sure that the security level in Sochi is no worse than in New York, Washington or Boston," he said.
To that, Kerry said, "Well, everybody hopes so. But, you know, I'm not gonna get into making comparative analyses."
"If an American wants to go, including my daughter, I would say go."
He noted that American security experts are on the ground in Russia as the world gears up for the Opening Ceremony on Friday.
Thirty-four people were killed in back-to-back bombings in the transportation hub of Volgograd, about 400 miles from Sochi, in December.
Late last month, Russian officials identified the suicide bombers as Suleiman Magomedov and Asker Samedov, but did not say if they were the same men who posted a video threatening another attack on the Games.
Authorities said they had detained two suspected accomplices in Dagestan, a hotbed of militant activity. The accused Boston Marathon bombers were also from Dagestan, although they had lived in the U.S. for years.