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US: Canceling Olympics an Option Due to Terrorism Threats

The U.S. says canceling the Olympics due to threatened terrorism has to be considered an option, and Canada warns its athletes to seriously consider the threat of terrorism.
Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chair of Homeland Security Comm.

Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chair of Homeland Security Comm.
Photo Credit: screen shot from CBS's "Face the Nation"

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, had some ominous statements to share about the upcoming 2014 Olympics, set to begin Feb. 7,  in Sochi, Russia.

“I would say that the security threat to this particular Olympics are the greatest I think I’ve ever seen,” McCaul said.

He also said that canceling the Olympics is an option that has to remain on the table.

“If this thing gets worse, maybe we would consider that,” McCaul said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Jan. 26.

McCaul was particularly concerned about a recent statement made by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who called for a global jihad against the Olympics.

That makes three separate Islamist terrorist threats against next month’s winter Olympics.  Doku Umarov, a terrorist leader who resides in the Caucasus Mountains not far from Sochi, called for jihad against the Olympics this past summer.  A second terrorist group, Ansar al-Sunna, released a video last week threatening terrorism against the games.

Canada has a different response to the very serious threat of terrorism at the Sochi games.  It has issued a warning to its athletes, calling on them to “carefully consider” whether to attend the games.

In an advisory late Friday, Jan. 24, Canada’s Public Safety Minister and the ministers of state of foreign affairs and sport said the Games were an “attractive” terrorist target and that airports and border crossings were “particularly vulnerable,” according to the National Post.

“Canadians should be aware that, although the host country will have special security arrangements in place at Olympic venues, this does not eliminate the risk of terrorist attacks,” the Public Safety Minister said. “The decision to travel despite these concerns rests with the traveler, and such decisions should be considered carefully.”

Israel has a five person delegation set to travel to Sochi for the Olympics, three figure skaters, a speed  and one skier.  So far Israel has not made any public statements about specific security steps for its Olympic athletes, but the safety of Israeli athletes at global events has been an especial concern ever since 11 Israelis were murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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16 Responses to “US: Canceling Olympics an Option Due to Terrorism Threats”

  1. Faythe Brown says:

    If we as a group are threatened, then by all means get these fine men and women and kids back home here.. they will not do well knowing and feeling threatened by the terrorists.. this is NUTS!!!

  2. If we cancel events because of cowardly threats, then we let the cowards win. This is what they want. DON’T LET THEM WIN! Keep calm and carry on!

  3. Canceling is not an option. If we did not cancel with the kidnapping and blood bath when 11 Israelis were killed in Berlin, then I do not think we should cancel now. The cowardly terrorists are doing all they can to disrupt lives– so to cancel would be playing into their hand and giving them more (actually the very most) power possible. DON’T DO IT!!

  4. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Cancelling will only show that the terrorists have won.

  5. I were competing, I would insist on being housed with the Israelis. There will be no tighter security than with them.

  6. Edward Lobel says:

    Mike McCaul is a republican from texas and that is enough to make me feel he is not telling the truth and simply trying to scare people!

  7. Dorothy Myers says:

    Why the IOC picked a place in a dangerous area to hold these games is a wonder. Ridiculous cost in security, building infrastructure. Is there any such thing as perfect safety? Clearly, an evilly-disposed person with a bomb or a sniper rifle could cause some damage. Is the risk worth it? Each person who goes to the games has to make that decision for themselves, don't they? It would surely be better for the Olympics to hold their games in the same venue every time. Less cost in infrastructure, planning, security. Most of the time these games are just a bottomless hole for money. Any venue ever made money on this thing?

  8. I REALLY THINK THINGS ARE GETTING CLOSER TO A HEAD, ITS ABOUT READY TO BURST. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR STUFF TOGETHER.

  9. Joe Khoury says:

    funny how Russia is fighting terrorist on their soil and supporting Hizbulla via Iran and syria

  10. Dani Harton says:

    this was an extremely ignorant statement.

  11. Dani Harton says:

    this was an extremely ignorant statement.

  12. Edward Lobel says:

    Dani Harton
    truth hurts doesn't it!

  13. Dani Harton says:

    Edward Lobel Please tell me the truth in that statement? The fact that there are actual threats posing our Olympians and other athletes who are getting ready to prepare to openly walk into a targeted region? Or that many Americans would be boarding planes and staying in hotels grouped together for the events causing a massive target against us? Or the fact that, HEY, MAYBE INSTEAD of flippantly making decisions WITHOUT awareness of future consequence, it might be a good idea (although I know the libs aren't well in that) that we take precaution. Or the fact that you, sir, just made a generalized statement against a whole state because a man simply stated the FACTS. If we are going to play that, let's get real. Liberals aren't very educated when it comes to facts. They definitely enjoy hiding behind grandiose stories and statistics that make them feel like they are the "know-it-all". When it comes to America's safety you would THINK a grown ass man with his own political beliefs could lay off the bashing of the Republican party. Sorry that "old fashioned" and "old beliefs" mean the safety and welfare of a whole country. Touche. And, yes, I am from Texas. And damn proud of it.

  14. Edward Lobel says:

    Dani Harton I can understand why you are so rude and nasty your from England and that explains it. You mummy and dada never taught you manners and civility.

    You know all American's going to the Olympics are under a threat because they told you so, or some dumb ass republican who only graduated from the school of lie, cheat, steal and scare them.
    Where did he get his information? I see he has been in communications with the bad guys and they told him so? This makes you downright dumb if you think the bad guys are going to communicate with an idiot POS/TP ass wipe from texas, because they are so apt to negotiate a peace or to nuke them.

    There is NO SINGLE POS/TP elected official who tells the truth! They all lie, every single one of them.

    You are on a Jewish sight and back that german Louis Gohmert, he would be the first to want to get rid of the Jews and all the other POS/TP would be right behind him! How can you say you have a brain when you elect Raphael (call me Ted) Cruz, David Stockman, Louis Gohmert, Rick (what's that third department I want to eliminate) Perry. Let's not forget how your state has instituted a voter ID law that will make it very difficult for a women to vote (that is if you are a citizen)

    You make up all kinds of statements and say they are facts, but not a single thing you said has anything to do with facts. You simply say something that an idiot POS/TP said and pass that on as the truth.

    If the fear that the bad guys are going to keep low informed people such as you away, they have one.

    You really need to know what you are saying before everybody knows how ignorant you are.

  15. US citizens have higher odds of being shot by the police inside US borders than being killed by terrorists at the Olympics.

  16. Max Benezra says:

    Remenber Munich………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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