SOCHI, Russia — The United States Olympic team and at least five other national delegations have received messages making terrorist threats ahead of the Winter Games, adding to mounting security fears two weeks before competition begins.
The International Olympic Committee told NBC News on Wednesday that it did not consider the threat credible and said that it appeared to be “a random message from a member of the public.”
The U.S. Olympic Committee received an email in broken English warning the Americans not to attend the games, which formally begin Feb. 7 in the Russian resort of Sochi. The Olympic organizing committees of Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia also reported getting threats.
“I am very pleased to inform everyone that both the IOC and the Sochi organizing committee ... declared after the analysis of the letter that this threat is not real,” Zsigmond Nagy, an official of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, told Reuters.
“This person has been sending all kinds of messages to many members of the Olympic family,” he said.
Still, the threats arrived as Russian security forces were hunting for at least five suspected terrorists who may be plotting attacks against the Olympic torch relay or the games themselves, according to notices posted in Sochi.
Russia has vowed to make the games the safest ever, and President Vladimir Putin has effectively sealed off a 1,500-square-mile zone around Sochi in what has become known as the "ring of steel."