Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 29, 2014
Anxiety is at an all-time high in Sochi, Russia as the 2014 Winter Olympics are scheduled to start on Feb. 7. Both the athletes and workers have spent countless hours preparing for such an anticipated historical event.
With hundreds of thousands of people attending the event, and millions more watching them on their televisions, there is little room for error in any execution. This mentality of perfection is not just shared between athletes and workers though as one group of people seek to “outshine” the rest.
A group of jihadist terrorists in Syria, Ansar al-Sunnah (Supporters of the Sunnah), have publicly stated their plan to attack Russia, specifically Sochi, in retaliation of the oppression of Muslim people. Russian forces have been placed in the Northern Caucasus, part of the Russian Republics. These forces have attempted to put an end to the terrorist groups hiding in this region. These attempts have only fueled the jihadist groups into attacking, which they did on Dec. 30, 2013.
During rush hour in Volgograd, Russia, a suicide bomber killed at least 14 people and injured 28 on a trolley bus. This was the third attack in four days in the region, and brought bout a fear of safety for the Olympics. President Vladimir Putin assured the world that the Olympics would be secure for the events to go on. With this message, the Russian forces seemed to have calmed the terrorist groups in the Caucasus region- or so they thought.
Emir Umar, Commander of the Sabotage Unit of Ansar al-Sunnah, assured the Russians that they were wrong for thinking this. “Until recently, the Caucasus Mujahideen did not carry out such attacks, but it is in no way because of your ‘omnipotent security services,’” Umar stated. “You have sent your troops to our land, [and] we have sent to you our own with a return visit. And every one of our soldiers is waiting for Emir’s orders to blow up your calmness as it was happened in Volgograd,” he adds. He demands that Putin remove his soldiers from the Caucasus or they will attack.
He promises punishment for Putin’s behavior and will take his aggression out on Russian citizens. “Neither Putin nor any other damned politician who beats on his chest and promises you security can guarantee it to you. And Volgograd was a vivid example of that.”
As Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor of the World Tribune, reports, “Since the [Russians are] not about to vacate the Northern Caucasus and is adamant on conducting both the Olympic Winter Games and the G-8 Summit in Sochi, Emir Umar’s jihadist forces will soon strike repeatedly.”
All of this begs a very important question: why continue to have the Olympics in Sochi? Yes, the preparations have been made and the athletes have trained and made plans. But why not spare the lives of possibly hundreds of people? Having the Olympics is a statement that Russia is not afraid of terrorism, but it is important to look at who will be attending and performing in the games. These are not empty threats that the jihadists are making; they’ve killed many people before and are not afraid to do it again. They have grown angrier at Russia and want to take center stage at a worldwide event.
Nonetheless, the American athletes will support our country and make us proud. Make sure to watch the Olympics on NBC starting on Feb. 7 to support our athletes, as well as witness how Russia handles such a terrifying threat.