Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Olympic Terror Threat: The Deeper Story

There are a lot of news stories in circulation this week about the terror threats for the upcoming Winter Olympics. At first glance it would seem like the usual concerns about potential terrorism at a highly publicized event. 

However, in this instance there is far more to the story and two recent articles dig into the underlying situation:

The key to understanding the terrorist threats for the Olympic games is to understand the bigger picture. Even on a good day and under the best of conditions, Middle East politics is not the easiest subject to comprehend. I often beg my intelligence sources to slow down when tossing around names of groups and alliances as it is difficult to keep up with the key players and groups. 

When researching this issue, I notice that many pundits, commentators and bloggers tend to over-simplify the politics of Middle East terror, saying or writing that homicide bombers are simply savages that have fallen victim to a convoluted belief system. I understand why, as that is the simplest method of categorizing this agenda and the threats. It’s often true in many cases as well. In the real world and especially in the case of the Olympic terror threat, however, it is far from the most accurate.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi will begin on February 7, 2014, and last for 17 days. Many news organizations have said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s reputation is on the line...

Here is what you are not being told by an obedient American press and their paid pundits.

It was last August when Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan visited Putin in Moscow in his capacity as the “Prince of the Mujahideen” in Syria, including those who hail from Chechnya, Dagestan, and the Caucasus in Russia’s backyard, according to FARS News Agency. You might recall Bandar bin Sultan as the infamous “Bandar Bush” in earlier times, but that’s another column.

Last August, Bandar was in Moscow to specifically discuss the Syrian issue. At that time, Bandar tried to bribe Putin into changing his policy on Syria by promising him “a safe and secure winter Olympics in Sochi” if he would stop the material support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He offered Russia other incentives in exchange for withdrawing his support for Assad, “including a major arms deal and a pledge not to challenge Russian gas sales if Moscow scales back support for the Syrian government,” as noted by the FARS News Agency.

The future of Syria, in the eyes of Putin, is not negotiable. I have written many times that Syria is Putin’s red line in the sand and that Syria, not Iran, will be the tripwire for World War III. Yet, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Israel and others are hell-bent on toppling Assad by all available means, which leads back to the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi. It’s interesting how we can see a pattern emerging, and how the Benghazi attacks suddenly make sense when the truth is exposed.

The Saudis fund and support the various terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere. Bandar is personally in charge of all matters related to Syria and the initiatives to oust Assad in favor of a Muslim Brotherhood leadership. 

He also openly states that he can control terrorist actions in Sochi, meaning that he can either give them an operational green or a red light. His reach is also said to include the Chechen terrorists, which should cause a number of pundits on both sides of the theoretical political divide to rethink what we were told about the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the Saudi national, visited by Mrs. Obama, who quietly disappeared into the night. That, however, is reserved for another column.

We should take note of the October 2013 bus bombing in Volgograd, Central Russia by female suicide bomber Naida Asivalova of Dagestan. In context, terrorist threats and bombings such as this are real evidence that such terrorist activity is actually a proxy war by another means. While many will consider this bombing the act of a crazed, brainwashed killer acting under religious motivation, few will see it as part of an asymmetrical war with larger implications. 

That bombing, and other less recent acts and threats, have been done to remind Putin of who controls the terrorists and what demands need to be met to avoid further terrorist acts. It is also important to note the timing of the bus bombing. It was done far enough in advance to cause Olympic participants to rethink their participation, thus causing Putin economic backlash and to perhaps lose face on the international stage. Truly, we are seeing a game of chess at three levels on the geopolitical stage.

In the end, the Olympic terror threat is directly related to Putin’s stance on backing Assad and Syria against the wishes of the Saudis and by extension, the U.S. and the Israelis. If the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi was insufficient to expose the covert fight for Syria, perhaps the deaths of more in Sochi will awaken people to the real world game of Risk that’s taking place on the world stage.

From Benghazi to Sochi, perhaps via Boston, it’s all about a larger global realignment of power where the Muslim Brotherhood is installed in countries across the Middle East to destabilize the region. Whether it’s Sochi, Benghazi or even Boston, the lie is bigger, the stakes are higher, the agenda is much deeper than most can imagine. Terrorism is a nation-state proxy war by other means.

Russian security services were pulling out all the stops Tuesday, Jan. 21 in the hunt for the suspected Islamist bomber Ruzana Ibragimova, 22, known also as Salima or the White Widow, who was last seen on a street in Sochi ahead of the Feb. 7-23 Winter Olympic Games.
According to some Russian security sources, they are looking not for one but for three female suicide bombers, all known as “Black Widows,” who are used by terrorists because female bombers blend in with their targets more easily than males.

Last month, International Olympic Committee members consulted Western and Middle Eastern terror experts for an independent, professional assessment of the risks the Sochi games faced of exposure to terrorist action.
Their assessments came in three parts:

1)  The armed attacks thus far may be the first shots of a comprehensive Caucasian al Qaeda-related campaign of terror against Russian cities still to come.

2)  Whereas the town of Sochi is fairly secure in view of the tight security ring enclosing it, transport routes between the town and the sporting events in the mountains are not sufficiently protected against terrorist attack. This is not due to Russian incompetence, but the great distances the sportsmen must travel between their lodgings and hotels in the town of Sochi and the sporting facilities. Bus and train routes wind through valleys and mountains which are extremely difficult to safeguard.

3)  The experts reckon that the sportsmen and women taking part in the Games face the greatest threat, because the long snow-covered slopes on which they perform are exposed. Indigenous Caucasian terrorists are practiced in moving around at great speed on snow-clad slopes and are very hard to locate - even from the air.

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