Tuesday, January 21, 2014

US Offers Russia Anti-Terrorism Technology for Sochi Olympics

WASHINGTON, January 21 (RIA Novosti) – The United States and Russia on Tuesday discussed using US technology to combat terrorism at next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi amid concerns that extremists could target the games, the Pentagon’s news service reported.

US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told his Russian counterpart Gen. Valery Gerasimov that the United States is willing to share technical information on countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs) prior to the February 7 start of the Sochi games if the American technology is compatible with Russian systems, the American Forces Press Service (AFPS) reported.

“I reiterated the fact that we would favorably consider requests from them,” the report quoted Dempsey as saying.

Dempsey and Gerasimov met Tuesday in Brussels, where they discussed bilateral military relations and signed a so-called “work plan” spelling out 67 activities in which the two nations’ militaries can cooperate.

The meeting came amid a crackdown by Russian security services on terrorist and militant activities in the region ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a resort town on the Black Sea.

It also came a day after the Pentagon offered “air and naval assets,” including two US Navy ships in the Black Sea, to help bolster security for the games.

Twin bombing attacks late last month killed 34 people in the Russian city of Volgograd, which is considered a gateway to Russia’s southern republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, which have been the center of an ongoing Islamic insurgency for the past two decades.

Sochi lies about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Chechnya and 300 miles (480 kilometers) from Dagestan.

The Pentagon is open to providing US equipment capable of disrupting cellphone or radio signals that militants used to detonate IEDs, The New York Times cited Dempsey as saying Tuesday.

He noted, however, that experts from both countries would need to ensure that the US technology is compatible with systems used by Russian security services, the Times reported.

Dempsey told Gerasimov that US forces have “become extraordinarily familiar with” IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq, where militant groups have deployed them with deadly results against American personnel during US-led military operations over the past decade, according to the Times.

Dempsey was quoted by AFPS as saying Tuesday that Gerasimov has “a hand-picked, highly trained task force that’s been in place for some time” to help ensure safety at the Sochi Games, which are slated to run through February 23.

“He believes they have in place the intelligence apparatus, as well as the response apparatus, to deal with the threats as they know them this year in Sochi,” Dempsey said of Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s General Staff, according to the report.

  • In addition to the Sochi Olympics, the two generals discussed US missile defense systems, vehemently opposed by Moscow, and Afghanistan, where Dempsey said the two nations have much in common.

“We agree that a stable Afghanistan and an Afghanistan that is not a sanctuary for terrorism is in our common interests,” AFPS quoted Dempsey as saying.

In welcoming remarks at Russia’s mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels, Gerasimov expressed support for “regular contacts” between the two nations’ militaries as “quite useful,” the Times reported.






  1. Sotschi: Obama bietet Putin volle Unterstützung bei Terrorabwehr an...

    Die USA wollen Russland helfen, die olympischen Winterspiele in Sotschi vor Terrorgefahren zu schützen. Gespräche gibt es auf höchster Ebene.

    US-Präsident Barack Obama hat dem russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin die volle Unterstützung der USA bei der Abwehr von möglichen Terrorangriffen auf die Olympischen Winterspiele in Sotschi zugesichert. Das teilte die US-Regierung nach einem Telefonat der beiden Politiker mit. Obama und Putin seien sich einig, dass die Sicherheit des Sportereignisses im Interesse beider Länder liege. Wie die New York Times berichtet, geht es bei der Hilfe auch um modernstes elektronisches Gerät.

    Dem Zeitungsbericht zufolge gab es bereits Kontakte hoher Militärs über eine konkrete Zusammenarbeit in Sicherheitsfragen. So hätten sich in Brüssel US-Stabschef General Martin Dempsey und sein russischer Kollege Waleri Gerasimow getroffen.

    Bei den Beratungen sei es um den möglichen Einsatz von US-Elektronik zur Verhinderung von Sprengstoffanschlägen gegangen, schreibt die Zeitung unter Berufung auf namentlich nicht genannte Beamte des Verteidigungsministeriums in Washington. Im Einzelnen gehe es darum, zu verhindern, dass Sprengstoff etwa durch Handys ferngezündet werden können. Eine Entscheidung sei aber noch nicht getroffen, hieß es.
    US-Kriegsschiffe liegen bereit

    Das US-Verteidigungsministerium hatte zuvor schon mitgeteilt, dass im Schwarzen Meer zwei US-Kriegsschiffe "für alle Eventualitäten" bereitstünden. Derzeit lägen aber noch keine Anforderungen vor, sagte Ministeriumssprecher John Kirby. Das US-Außenministerium hat die US-Bürger aufgerufen, beim Besuch der Spiele wegen der Sicherheitslage besonders wachsam zu sein.

    Die olympischen Winterspiele in der südrussischen Stadt beginnen am 7. Februar. Drei Wochen nach den tödlichen Anschlägen in Wolgograd - etwa 640 Kilometer von Sotschi entfernt - hatten Islamisten erneut zu Attentaten während der Spiele aufgerufen. Im Nordkaukasus gehen russische Spezialeinheiten seit Tagen gegen Terrorverdächtige vor.

  2. Canadians warned to exercise 'high degree of caution' in Sochi .....

    Amid heightened security concerns and growing threats of attack by militant groups, the Canadian government is asking tourists visiting Sochi for the upcoming Olympic Games to exercise a “high degree of caution.”

    The government issued a travel advisory on its website on Tuesday, warning tourists to take extra security precautions when travelling to Sochi, particularly when taking public transportation and attending events with large crowds.

    “Avoid demonstrations, monitor local developments and follow the advice of local authorities,” the advisory noted.

    “You should make your travel arrangements, including accommodation, transportation and purchase of sporting events tickets, well in advance using genuine and reliable sources.”

    The government noted that while Russian officials have announced special security arrangements near major airports, border crossings and Olympic venues, there are specific regions in Russia that tourists should avoid.

    Canada has issued a regional travel advisory to the volatile Northern Caucasus region of the country, the same area where two bombs exploded near the city of Volgograd in December, killing 34 people.

    The website notes that the ability of the Canadian embassy in Moscow to provide assistance to Canadians travelling to that area is “limited or non-existent.”..........http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canadians-warned-to-exercise-high-degree-of-caution-in-sochi-1.1649707#ixzz2r6zpBKqI

  3. President Obama offered Russian President Vladimir Putin the full security assistance of the U.S. Tuesday as concerns continue to mount over terror threats at next month’s Olympic Games..........

    The White House said Obama, in a phone call, offered to help with security during next month’s games. Putin, who has some 40,000 cops deployed inside the 1,500-mile so-called “Ring of Steel,” has so far brushed aside offers from other countries to assist in securing the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, where the games will take place.

    There was no immediate indication of Putin's response to Obama's offer.

    Officials confirmed Tuesday the two countries were also involved in “exploratory discussions” to use high-tech American equipment to help secure the games.

    The discussions between Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and his Russian counterpart, which were first reported by the New York Times, involve electronic equipment developed by the U.S. to fight IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The equipment is able to detect and scramble signals from a cell phone or radio that could detonate an explosive device. The Times reported Dempsey told Russian chief of the general staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov the Defense Department would need to make sure the technology was compatible with Russian security systems before it could be implemented.

    The Pentagon confirmed late Monday that the U.S. military will have two ships and other assets at the ready. The Pentagon maintains that no aircraft are being sent to the region, contrary to an earlier report.

    "Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested for all manner of contingencies in support of -- and in consultation with -- the Russian government," U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement, adding, "there is no such requirement at this time."

    C-17 transport planes will be on standby at U.S. bases in Germany in the event that Americans need to be evacuated from the Olympics. The planes will be approximately two hours away from Sochi.

    One Defense official, referring to the preparations, said the Pentagon has "learned a lot of lessons from Benghazi" and is preparing for the possibility of an evacuation. Any evacuation would be done in coordination with Russia, U.S. Defense officials told Fox News.

    Fears mounted Monday, after news broke of four possible “black widows” -- women whose jihadist husbands have died in the fight between the Muslims of the North Caucasus and Russia -- who might be planning suicide bomb attacks. That followed a video released by an extremist group in which two men claimed credit for last month’s twin attacks in Volgograd, which left 34 people dead.

  4. US satisfied with security measures in Sochi...

    WASHINGTON, February 02, 21:54 /ITAR-TASS/. The United States is satisfied with security measures Russia is taking in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games the country will hold in its Black Sea resort of Sochi, a senior White House official said.

    “We feel good that the Russians are taking serious steps right now” to secure the games, which will run on February 7-23, 2014, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said in a recent interview with the CBS and NBC American broadcast television networks.

    McDonough emphasized that the United States is “in close touch with the Russians” and added that the US administration is not discouraging US nationals from traveling to Sochi.

    “In fact, we have said that people could travel to the Olympics. We just want them to stay in touch with the State Department while they travel, watch the website for updates,” he said.

  5. JO de Sotchi: deux navires de guerre américains en mer Noire ...

    Deux navires de guerre américains sont arrivés en mer Noire, a indiqué lundi une source militaire russe citée par l'agence Interfax, à quelques jours de l'ouverture des Jeux Olympiques de Sotchi, sur les bords de la mer Noire.

    "Le destroyer lance-missiles Ramage et le navire amphibie Mount Whitney se trouvent actuellement en mer Noire, avec à leur bord plus de 600 membres des forces spéciales de la marine de guerre", a précisé cette source.

    Le Pentagone avait indiqué fin janvier être prêt à déployer des moyens aériens et navals, comprenant notamment deux navires en mer Noire, pour aider la Russie à assurer la sécurité des JO Sotchi, du 7 au 23 février. "Des moyens aériens et navals, comprenant deux navires de la Navy en mer Noire, seront disponibles en cas de demande pour toute situation d'urgence, en soutien et en consultation avec le gouvernement russe", avait déclaré le porte-parole du Pentagone, le contre-amiral John Kirby.

  6. Kerry not advising Americans against traveling to Sochi....

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that his agency was not advising Americans against traveling to the Russian resort city of Sochi for the upcoming Winter Olympics.

    "I believe that anybody who wants to go to the Olympics, which is just a great event, should go," the top U.S. diplomat told CNN in an interview.

    Security for the Feb. 7-23 event has been a concern for Washington after two suicide attacks killed at least 34 people in Volgograd in southern Russia late December and threats streamed out from Islamist militants in the volatile northern Caucasus region.

    President Barack Obama suggested last week that Americans check in with the State Department before making a trip to Sochi.

    "We're not telling people not to go," Kerry said. "I think it will be as safe as you can make any large public event in a place where obviously we all know there have been some threats of late."

    He said the United States has 140 government personnel "working under the same roof in a coordinated way with the Russians" in Sochi, including those from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and the military.

    "We feel that everything has been done that can be done to try to guarantee people safety and security," he said, adding his department has cautioned people to "take precautions.".................http://english.cntv.cn/20140206/101419.shtml

  7. US Warns of Explosives in Toothpaste Tubes Ahead of Sochi Games....

    MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) – US security officials have warned airlines flying to Winter Olympics host Russia that terrorists may use toothpaste and cosmetic tubes to carry explosives to conduct terrorist attacks on the Games.

    Republican Congressman Michael McCaul said Wednesday night in an interview with CNN that the Department of Homeland Security has voiced concerns that explosives could be smuggled into the Black Sea city of Sochi, where competitive events got under way Thursday.

    The security advice was submitted to airlines with direct flights to Russia, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to the Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity................http://en.ria.ru/world/20140206/187253946/US-Warns-of-Explosives-in-Toothpaste-Tubes-Ahead-of-Sochi-Games.html

  8. Obama: Russia and US constantly communicating at intelligence level in context of Olympics....

    “We are consistently working with them to make sure that not only our athletes are safe, but everyone who's attending these Games are safe”

    NEW YORK, February 7. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian and American military, intelligence services’ staff and law enforcement officers are in constant contact in the context of holding Olympic Games in Sochi, US President Barak Obama said in an interview to NBC channel, which was partly published n Thursday. The full interview will be aired on Friday, ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony.

    “I think the Russians have an enormous stake, obviously, in preventing any kind of terrorist act or violence at these (sporting) venues,” Obama noted. “They have put a lot of resources into it.”

    “We're in constant communications with them at the law enforcement level, at the military level, at the intelligence levels, and it's not untypical of every Olympics, whether it's in Canada or China or anyplace else,” the US president stressed.

    Obama added: “We are consistently working with them to make sure that not only our athletes are safe, but everyone who's attending these Games are safe.”........................http://en.itar-tass.com/world/718002


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