'Strong possibility' of attacks during Sochi Olympics

There is a strong possibility of terror attacks around the Sochi Winter Olympics, a Whitehall source has told ITV News. The threat level of an attack before or during the games is substantial, they added.

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Strong possibility of terror attacks around Sochi games

There is a strong possibility of terror attacks around the Sochi Olympics, ITV News understands.

The threat level of an attack before or during the games is substantial, a Whitehall source has told ITV News.

However, there is not believed to be any specific threat to the UK team in Sochi.

There is a strong possibility of terror attacks around the Sochi Olympics, ITV News understands. Credit: Reuters

The Northern Caucasus group Imarat Kavkaz (IK) have stated their intention to target the games, with the most recent threat in July last year, however their capability to launch an attack is more questionable.

Russian security officials have been monitoring the group for some time, although they are not the only terrorist group in the region.

President Putin has increased nationwide security ahead of the games after an attack on the city of Volgograd killed 34 people in December.

Read: Islamist militants vow to target the Sochi Olympic Games

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Russia concerned over 'black widows' terror threat

Russian authorities are concerned over the threat posed by three woman, known as the "black widows", suspected of planning terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Security officials have been hunting Ruzanna Ibragimova, a 23-year-old widow of a militant, who is believed to be in the host city ahead of the games.

President Putin has increased security nationwide ahead of the games. Credit: Reuters

"(She) may be used as a terrorist-suicide bomber by (insurgency) leaders to organise terrorist acts during preparations for and during the 2014 Winter Olympics," a letter seen by Reuters from security services to police states.

At least two other female suicide bombers are believed to be of concern to authorities.

Russia has repeatedly insisted the games, due to open in Sochi on February 7 would be safe, with President Putin increasing security nationwide ahead of the games.

Read: UK officials warn terror attacks during Sochi 'very likely'

Heavy security presence in Dagestan as torch arrives

by - Diplomatic Correspondent
There is a heavy security presence in Makhachala , capital of Dagestan Republic. Credit: ITV News/John Ray

Amid terrorist threats, Russian security are taking few chances with the Olympic torch as it arrives in Makhachala , capital of Dagestan Republic which is home to Islamist militants who have vowed to target the games.

The torch will be taken round the local football stadium in front of security cleared crowd.

Read: UK officials warn terror attacks in Sochi 'very likely'

UK officials warn terror attacks during Sochi 'very likely'

Terrorist attacks in Russia are "very likely to occur" before or during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, UK officials have warned.

The Winter Olympics will begin next week with 88 countries due to compete.

Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from February 7 to 23. Credit: Reuters

A document examining the level of risk, seen by the BBC, claims the Caucasus group Imarat Kavkaz (IK) poses the main danger, although it does question whether the group has the capability to attack the event within the timeframe.

The report suggests that Sochi would be far more difficult to attack due to the huge security presence in the host city.

Security has heavily increased in Russia since a twin attack on the city of Volgograd in December which killed 34 people last month.

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