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Sochi Olympics 2014: US warships enter Black Sea amid `toothpaste bomb` threat

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 19:03

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Washington: Amidst a flurry of threats flooding Russia as it hosts Winter Olympics 2014, the US has positioned two warships in the Black Sea to provide help in case of any untoward incident threatens security.

The latest threat warning was that of “toothpaste bombs”, issued by the US Homeland Security Department for all he airlines operating direct flight to Russia as the country plays host to the Winter Olympics that begin in Sochi on Thursday.

The bulletin issued by the US Department of Homeland Security says that the militants militants might smuggle the explosives into the toothpaste tubes or other similar cosmetic tubes and then later assemble the explosives into bombs either in the flight or at Sochi.

Meanwhile a statement issued by the US Department of Homeland Security said that though there was no “specific threat”” regarding the same but it was conveyed to the airlines "out of an abundance of caution".

The US has so far refrained from changing its travel guidelines for Sochi with the White House National Security Council saying that alterations would be made if needed.

Also talking to the CNN in an interview, John Kerry said, "Anybody who wants to go to the Olympics, which is just a great event, should go”.

The threat of toothpaste bomb is the latest to spark concerns regarding the safety at the Winter Olympics at Sochi which begin today and will be wrapped up by Feb 23.

Earlier, a couple of suicide attacks within two days in Volgograd in December last year had also posed a serious question mark on the security risks near the Games venue, situated just 700 kms off the volatile North Caucasus region. 

The attacks are seen as the manifestation of the threat delivered by a Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who in July this year had condemned Russia for hosting Sochi Games, which he called as a “Satanic Dance”.
He had vowed to stop the Games from proceeding in Sochi, pledging attacks against civilian targets.

He instructed his followers “to use maximum force on the path of Allah to disrupt this Satanic dancing.”

"They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims, buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea," Umarov had said in a video.

Sochi Olympics is Putin`s ambitious project and he has gone out of his way to mute the chorus of international criticism against Russia`s dismal rights record by releasing his major opponents like oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Pussy Riot band girls and Greepeace activists.

First Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 14:37
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