Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Russia says it foiled terrorist attack in 2014 Olympics city
Sochi » Secret police claims to have found ten caches of weapons and ammunition.


< Previous Page


Moscow • Russian agents have foiled terror attack plans on the Black Sea resort of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, authorities said Thursday, blaming Chechen separatists and neighboring Georgia of jointly masterminding the plans.

Georgian authorities and security experts, however, called the accusations "paranoid" and "hard to believe."

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee said the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB, had discovered ten caches of weapons and ammunition on May 4 and May 5 in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia, which lies just miles from Sochi.

The arms seized included portable surface-to-air missiles, grenade launchers, flame throwers, grenades, rifles, explosives and maps, the security service said.

Authorities said the terrorists were planning to smuggle the explosives and arms into Sochi "between 2012 and 2014 to use them during the preparations and during the games." They did not elaborate on how they came to this conclusion.

Sochi is less than dozen miles away from Russia’s border with Abkhazia, a tiny province on the Black Sea that declared independence from Georgia in 2008. Few countries other than Russia have supported its independence and it remains roiled by political unrest.

The FSB said it suspects the mastermind behind the plans targeting Sochi is Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, whom it alleges has close ties to Georgia’s secret service. The secret service said Umarov had coordinated the delivery of the weapons and ammunition to Abkhazia and arranged caches for them.

Umarov has previously claimed responsibility for the 2011 deadly bombing in a Moscow airport that killed 35 people. The ailing Chechen separatist is widely seen as the nominal leader of fractured groups of Islamists and separatists in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region.

Georgia and Russia had a brief but intense war in 2008 and are still very distrustful of each other. Georgia has accused Russia of sending spies and supporting a failed coup to topple pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili and has urged the world to boycott the Sochi Games.

On Thursday, Shota Khizanishvili, the chief of staff at Georgia’s Interior Ministry, denied any links between Georgia and Umarov.


story continues below
story continues below

"I can only say that the National Anti-Terrorist Committee is staffed with people with peculiar fantasies," Khizanishvili told The Associated Press. "They’re always trying to accuse Georgia and its secret services of everything in any situation and without any grounds. This is a sign of severe paranoia."

A regional security expert agreed that the Russian accusations were "hard to believe."

Georgian authorities "can hardly side with separatists and organize diversions," Akhmet Yarlykapov of the Moscow-based Ethnology and Anthropology Institute told the AP.

Sochi’s selection as the host of the 2014 Winter Games had sparked fears of possible terrorist activity, although no attacks have occurred so far.

The city is located in the same area as Russia’s North Caucasus, which is plagued with near-daily violence linked to an Islamist insurgency that spread from the province of Chechnya to neighboring areas in the late 1990s.

The International Olympic Committee would not comment on the specific security case at Sochi but said in a statement that "security is a top priority for the IOC.

"Security at the games is the responsibility of the local authorities, and we have no doubt that the Russians will be up to the task," the statement said.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.