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US officials lay out Sochi security plan

Security Tightens As Olympic Park Opens

WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing rising threats of violence at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, U.S. officials said Friday they are prepared to work with Russian security officials to help protect American athletes and the 10,000 American spectators expected to attend.

As host country, Russia has prime responsibility for protecting athletes and spectators. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 7, and U.S. officials are already in Sochi.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that he and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have talked to their Russian counterparts about security for the Olympics, including the need to ensure protections for U.S. citizens.

"If we need to extract our citizens, we will have appropriate arrangements with the Russians to do this," Hagel said, noting the U.S. will have two warships in the Black Sea during the Games.

"As of right now, the Russians have not requested any specific assistance or technology. We want them to know that if they need our help, we want to help," Hagel told Pentagon reporters.

Senior American officials said U.S. officials see the threats as troubling but not unusual for a high-profile event such as the Olympics. The senior officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak by name, said U.S. officials are taking seriously all threats, with the safety and security of all Americans in Sochi seen as taking the "highest priority."

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was alongside Hagel for a Pentagon briefing, said France also has received no request for assistance from the Russians and added: "If the question is do we have the intention to ensure the protection of your citizens that might have problems in Sochi, the answer is yes."

In an updated travel advisory late Friday, the State Department said the U.S. continues to monitor potential terrorist threats in Sochi, noting a series of recent bombings and other incidents that have occurred in Russia. The State Department urged Americans traveling to the Olympics to register in advance and to remain vigilant while in the country.

"There is no indication of a specific threat to U.S. institutions or citizens, but U.S. citizens should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow good security practices," the travel warning said.

The travel warning also warned that foreigners could face jail, fines or deportation for violating Russia's new laws banning gay "propaganda" to minors.

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joefilmone January 25 2014 at 11:20 AM

I hope our athletes safe there- but it looks like the Evil Empire's Olympics is headed towards disaster.

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Mr. Smith January 25 2014 at 6:48 AM

Having been born in the United States. I was raised believing that you live like you want to live, and respect other peoples beliefs, even if you didn't agree with them. Though our elected officials seem to forget this aspect. " Freedom of choice". I do not understand why a group of people would find it neccesary to kill mass amounts of people , or even one. Especially people who are unnarmed in most cases. Back to the point. If anyone attacks the Olympics, or any gathering of different countries, It should not be discussed amongst the countries, they should immediatly join together, and do what they have to do to take out the threat to the world. When that message is received people may quit this insane endevour. They can discuss any things they didn't like about the operation for years after the threat is gone.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Paul MacLeod January 25 2014 at 7:27 AM

I'm pretty sure that these events are NOT worth the life of even one single person so that these nuts can have virgins in their sicko paradise.. if my kid were an olympic athlete I would not allow this trip to happen.. there is no way security is going to be able to stop " something" from happening..

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
jrb359 Paul MacLeod January 25 2014 at 7:35 AM

I feel the SAME way you do. The problem is that we can't let these savages control our daily lives. Once that happens, the bad guys win! Putin doesn't care about what is politically correct!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Steve January 25 2014 at 7:50 AM

I'm ready for some Curling!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
rdz69 Steve January 25 2014 at 11:41 AM

yeah, Doritos curls!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
leftydap52 January 25 2014 at 7:51 AM

Who are we kidding. Does anyone really think Russia will ask the US for any help ..??

Flag Reply +4 rate up
feyth2 January 25 2014 at 1:07 PM

Terrorist ruin everything - even their own lives.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
monza866 January 25 2014 at 8:13 AM

There is no safe place in the world today. Even the Olympics is tarnished by those out there with a cause which makes them harm innocent people. Does not look like there is going to be peaceful co-existence any time soon.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
keedyk87 January 25 2014 at 8:20 AM

If it meant posssibly losing my life I simply would not go? Who needs recognition from mass ignorants anyway?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
stbrack January 25 2014 at 8:25 AM

The Russians seem to have a better understanding of who they are dealing with than we do. We need to work with the Russians (like we did during WWII) and eliminate the Muslim Terrorists; there is no compromising with them.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
Vito January 25 2014 at 8:28 AM

The fact is that it's almost impossible to protect against someone that has no repect for life, especially their own. I believe this olympics will be the deadliest in history. I will pray for it not to be and pray for everyones safety. I can't think of anything that would ever get me to go to Sochi. Not money, not fame, not even immortality.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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