Capt. Jim Wheeler of the Madison Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence section has been involved in the security planning for large events. With the two bombings in Russia, Wheeler has a sense of what impact that will have on Olympic security plans.
“Well, it has definitely increased the amount of planning that you have to do. It also increased the number of contingencies that you have to look for and be prepared for, and it is going to increase the number of people you’re going to have on your security details,” Wheeler said.
The Olympic Games open in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 7. Sochi is located approximately 400 miles away from Volgograd, the city where a suicide bomber killed 14 people on a bus.
The bus bombing was the second deadly attack in two days in Russia. Previously a suicide bomber attacked a railway station.
“Everyone now needs to be even more concerned about the terrorist threat that has reached the Russian heartland and is growing closer to not only the Sochi Olympics but also affects (to) the transportation hubs that are so important to the Olympics,” said Juan Sarate, a national security analyst for CBS News.
While no one has claimed responsibility for the bombings in Russia, they come several months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov called for attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Sochi games.
The challenge for Olympic officials will be to ensure security for a venue as large as the Sochi games.
“When you look at this type of event you are going to have to look at the number of buildings that need to be secured. You have to look at the area that needs to be secured and when you talk about Olympic Games with thousands, hundreds of thousands of people being there, there are a lot of things to think about,” Wheeler said.