UNH Group Weighs in on Sochi Terror Threat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Connecticut group is tracking the terror threat at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

    A Connecticut group is tracking the terror threat at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

    The Institute for the Study of Violent Groups, associated with the University of New Haven, released a report that paints a sobering picture about the growing threat in that region of Russia.

    "It's been a very active area since the 90s," said Samuel Belton, a researcher with ISVG. "There's been two major civil wars in the region."

    The Olympics will be located within 300 miles of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, an area within the North Caucasus.

    "Really what this is, is this is an evolution of the same people participating in the civil wars moving on to a jihadist ideology," said Belton.

    That's why their report concludes that the "capabilities of these groups and proximity of these groups creates a substantial threat to the Olympic Games and the subsequent influx of athletes and spectators in the region."

    ISVG is made up of professors, undergraduates and grads. They study and analyze global terror hot spots around the world. In their Sochi report they looked at hundreds of variables based on the most recent attacks in the region, including the bombing at a train station.

    "Their attacks closely mimic Al Qaeda groups," said Belton.

    In response to threats, including the possibility of female suicide bombers, Russia has created a so-called ring of steel around the Olympic city. The U.S. has also sent to warships to the region in case Americans need to be evacuated.

    ISVG won't make predictions about what may or may not happen but they do look at patterns.

    "That is of concern to us obviously because even though we cannot predict a violent we can say that these people have the means motive and opportunity to commit an attack," said Belton.

    Read their report here.