Russians find weapons designated for Olympic Games
Russian authorities report a raid turning up a massive cache of weapons including surface to air missiles, a flame thrower and mortar bombs has foiled a plot to attack the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
According to news reports from Russia, the nations National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) said the raid in the Abkazia region of Georgia, adjacent to Sochi on the Black Sea coast, derailed a plot by the Caucasus Emirate to disrupt the Games. “Russia's FSB (security service) was able to establish that the fighters planned to move the weapons to Sochi from 2012 to 2014 and use them to carry out terrorist acts before and during the Olympic Games,” an NAC statement said.
Russia has fought two wars in Chechnya since the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia has also suggested Georgia may be plotting further aggression, an accusation Georgian leaders reject.
The NAC reported weapons seized included Igla and Strela portable surface-to-air missiles, two anti-tank guided missiles, 36 mortar bombs, the flame thrower, grenade launchers as well as other explosive devises and anti-tank and anti-personnel mines.
Suicide bombings that claimed 77 people at the Moscow airport and metro system in 2010 and 2011 were conducted by Islamic insurgents, some of who say Russian soldiers forced them from their homes in the mid-19th century and that the Winter Games are set to be held on a “mass grave.”
The International Olympic Committee has said it is confident Russia will provide a safe Games. Armed guards were prevalent even on the mountain tops during the 2011 World Cup skiing test runs at Sochi this February.
Reports said three men had been arrested in connection with the weapons cache, located Abkhazia's Gudauta region, about 30 miles from the Russian border. Sochi rests just over a mountain range from some of Abkhazia's militant hotspots in the North Caucasus. Among those charged was the leader of the Caucasus Emirate faction, Rustan Gitzba.
Armed guards at Sochi ski lift. Gepa photo