Security fears escalate ahead of Olympics
(SportsNetwork.com) - Plans to evacuate Americans in the event of a terror attack on the Winter Olympics include warships, planes and helicopters that would be provided by the U.S. military, according to a report.
The report Monday on CNN.com came one day after a video published on a Jihadi forum reportedly threatened next month's games in Sochi, Russia.
It came the same day ABC News reported police in Sochi have launched "an urgent search" for a potential female suicide bomber who may have already breached security set up for the Olympics.
A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee told ABC the safety of American athletes is its "top priority."
"As is always the case, we are working with the U.S. Department of State, the local organizers and the relevant law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure that our delegation and other Americans traveling to Sochi are safe," the spokesman, Patrick Sandusky, said.
The State Department has already issued a travel alert for Americans going to the Olympics, saying they "should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times."
The State Department would lead the organizing and evacuating of American athletes and officials in the event of an attack, CNN.com said in its report, citing a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the plan.
Fears of an attack were already high following three recent suicide bombings targeting public transportation in the city of Volgograd, which is 600 miles from Sochi.
Two of the bombings occurred in a 24-hour period last month. The video Sunday claimed to show the two men responsible for the latest attacks, according to reports.
Sochi is a resort town on the Black Sea, which is where the U.S. would launch helicopters from warships to evacuate Americans, CNN.com reported. Transport aircraft on standby in Germany could be on the scene in about two hours.
01/20 15:50:51 ET