Obama, Putin discuss Olympic security

UPI/Abed Hashlamoni/Pool
UPI/Abed Hashlamoni/Pool | License Photo

SOCHI, Russia, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday on security for the Sochi Olympics and other issues, the White House said.

A White House statement said the "United States has offered its full assistance" on Olympic security.


The two leaders also discussed the civil war in Syria, "including preparations for the Geneva II conference and the ongoing international program to remove and destroy Syria's chemical weapons," the statement said.

The White House gave no details.

Meanwhile, Russian security forces say the widow of an Islamist insurgent may have entered the Sochi security zone and be planning violence at the Winter Olympics.

Notices distributed to hotels in the Sochi area say the Russian internal security service, the FSB, is looking for Ruzanna Ibragimova, who may have traveled to the area Jan. 11 or 12, the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The notice said Ibragimova, 22, "may be used by the ring leaders of illegal armed groups for the organization of terrorist acts in the zone of the 2014 Olympics."

The notice was dated Jan. 15, CNN reported.


Ibragimova may not be the only female insurgent Russian forces are attempting to locate, said former CIA officer Mike Baker.

"I guarantee they're talking about this one black widow, but there are others that they're also worried about," he said.

About 40,000 Russian troops and security forces have been deployed around Sochi to help prevent attacks from militants in the North Caucasus.

The U.S. State Department will be responsible for evacuating Americans, if necessary, a U.S. official familiar with the plan told CNN Monday.

The U.S. would not act unless Russia requested its assistance, the official said.

Under the U.S. plan, two warships and several transport aircraft will be on standby to assist in the evacuation.

Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden expressed confidence in Russian security measures surrounding the Olympics.

"I think Americans will be quite safe," he said.

Last month, two suicide bombers attacked a train station and blew up a bus in Volgograd, a town about 400 miles from Sochi.

A video released Sunday on a jihadist website said the attacks would continue "up to and including chemical ones" if Russia did not withdraw its troops from the Caucasus.

The Sochi Games begin Feb. 6.


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