The new terror threat that emerged over the weekend against the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi has prompted one U.S. lawmaker to warn Americans to stay home.
“Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine has a blunt message for U.S. athletes: Don’t go to the Sochi Olympic games, Politico reported. “I would not go, and I don’t think I would send my family,” he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also expressed concern at the lack of cooperation from Russia on “intelligence sharing ahead of the games.”
“Their level of concern is great, but we don’t seem to be getting all of the information we need to protect our athletes in the Games. I think this needs to change, and it should change soon,” Rogers said on “State of the Union.”
The new threat directed at the Olympics emerged after a video surfaced on a well-know jihadi website Jan. 18.
“The Dagestani branch of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus posted a communiqué from a group calling themselves the ‘Ansar al-Sunnah’ threatening additional attacks against Russia and distributed a video purporting to show the suicide bombers who carried out the December 29 and 30, 2013 attacks in Volgograd, Russia,” SITE Intelligence Monitoring Service reported.
The video showed two men “purported” to be the Volgograd suicide bombers and included a specific threat to the Olympics, according to SITE.
According to a CNN report, the threat was:
“As for your Olympics, something that you really want, we’ve prepared a present for you. You do your business and we’ll do ours…”
“We’ve prepared a present for you and all tourists who’ll come over.”
“If you will hold the Olympics, you’ll get a present from us for the Muslim blood that’s been spilled.”
SITE also reported on an “alleged fatwa” given earlier this month “endorsing suicide bombings in Russia in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics.”
The website, Islam Din, posted the original Arabic fatwa and its Russian translation on January 12, 2014. It claimed that it submitted a question to the Shariah Committee of radical cleric Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi’s website, Minbar Tawhid and Jihad, about the religious justification for suicide bombings in Russia, and that it received a response from Abu Abdul Rahman al-Maqdisi. The cleric explained that attacks in Russia against “Christian disbelievers” are a legitimate response to Russia’s direct actions against Chechen Muslims and indirect actions against Syrians, and that suicide bombings are the best operations to inflict damage.
He said about the importance of such operations: “Frustrating the disbelievers and hurting them is an aim of Shariah that Allah loves, and we have seen how these operations frustrate the disbelievers. They are careful to demonstrate security stability in their country especially with the approaching Olympics, so shaking such stability is a required matter and an intended target.”
Abu Abdul Rahman also directed a message to prospective bombers in Russia, asking that they consult scholars for advice and Chechen fighters in the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus (IED) for strategies and tips. He added: “Seek legitimate targets that might cause the greatest damage to the enemy, and do not be hasty and choose easy targets so that your damage to Allah’s enemies is small. Your soul is precious, so do not make us lose you without great damage being inflicted on the disbelievers.”