Transcript for New Terror Threats For the Olympics
This is a special group. Hello I'm -- Hernandez in New York with his ABC news digital special report another terror threat just two weeks away from the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. US Olympic team along with a handful of others have received an email warning them. An imminent terrorist attack to any visitors to Sochi but. Olympic officials are dismissing means -- the International Olympic Committee -- the emails are not credible. White house Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say about the threat just moments ago. These kinds of major events around the world. Obviously present security challenges. This one is not unique. And you know we take the matters like this seriously because of the presence of US citizens that's why we're working with the Russian government that's why we're offering assistance or offering. As well as. Encouraging US citizens planning to travel associated in contact with the State Department to make sure they're aware of the advisories that are out there. For more on the latest about the security -- -- let's bring -- ABC's -- -- at the host city. He -- keep bacteria you aren't so she had a sit still being there. Well I got -- rating right now the weather's looking better for what everybody comes for the case but. The other thing is is quite the security around like he said there are some concerns about what's gonna happen over the next few weeks and the Russians are definitely not taking any chances. Now let's talk about the up -- in security that's expected but what about these emails why does the IOC. Say they are not credible. Well we've spoken to the IOC and to some of those governments that receive -- -- -- the the Olympic committees and is in this country have received we spoke to the Slovenian. And they say that they got an email that -- was talking about. About threats to athletes there but it it was an. National scary president that title but ultimately decided there was no threat that they think it was a concerned citizen. Who was talking about some of the news reports out there and how they think that those -- could be in harm's way they attend -- games again they don't think there was any explicit. -- -- behind -- they think it was more somebody's opinion. But even so that email was quite widely circulated do we know how many teens received that email. Yeah you're right actually quick quite a scare all over the world it ricocheted around the globe pretty quickly we do know. That at least three countries -- and it was disobedience Hungarians and the Austrians. And right now no. Separate notable would presume is a separate. A story here rush -- detained a member of al-Qaeda what can you tell us about that. Right this just came out justice short while ago this is somebody was actually detained apparently in October on a violation on -- When he was try to -- -- Seeking Asylum here. And all we know right now from one report from Reno to see the state run broadcast or -- news organ. Station here in Russia that says I'm quoting a migration officials say that they have identified this person to be a member of al-Qaeda but again they haven't released any more details this. And we just had a clip from Jay Carney. Spokesman for the White House saying that they -- not overly concerned about Sochi at this point. President Obama did have a conversation. With Russian president who yesterday do we know what. Came out of that phone call if the Olympics where the topic of that call. -- the White House as they did discuss the Olympics among other topics to -- the president made an offer to President Clinton. And assistance if he needs any with security gains this is not something that's -- -- US has been offer. Assistance to the Russians going back months if not years the Russians however except for the longest time they got this -- help. Interesting the US that particular offering support and roadside bomb detection something that. We had to learn a lot about an hour wars overseas. -- again the Russian government not accepting outside help at this point. At this point knowing. You bring up that the meetings that happened yesterday on the military to military level and the Russians we're told inquired about US -- Belgian detecting IED's improvised explosive devices as he said something that the US is really work. The law is -- given the US military experience in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past. Decade or so that's -- that the Russians apparently inquired about we don't know exactly -- it. Happening of course you have to ask announced a few weeks -- became even if they were to deploy them now within. The deployment time for the games. OK and we should just remind everyone this is a region that has had a lot of issues with. Domestic terrorism in the pass -- right outside of Sochi. A lot of incidents -- -- there have been a few incidents just over the past weeks and it really -- The concern level just a few weeks ago in the city it will -- they were twin bombings that -- dozens of people in this of course comes. After a warning last summer for Russia's most wanted man and -- don't go tomorrow. Terrorist from the caucuses -- urged his followers to attack the games again everybody here on alert because those routes. Aren't -- -- as they say -- And hopefully you'll enjoy your stay in Sochi is colors -- -- and else. Attending the Olympic Games thank you for joining us. Also joining us from New York is -- -- house he won the silver medal in fencing for teen USA the 2008 Beijing Games welcomed him. Thank you -- before getting ahead hear topics I just have to say. Go to -- day eleven of their two weeks away and -- pumped up on an Olympian -- also -- and I -- our our teams in every home lots of gold medals for our country. You know that's just barely hopeful -- we have got to the Olympics -- business news out of Sochi have you concerned. You know there are always things related to the Olympics and I think we -- the -- remember these are not the prudent games. These are not a terrorist games -- these are the Olympic Games these athletes to train for four years. For these two weeks of their lives and so while these are concerns and -- always issues out there it's always important that we keep the focus on the athletes and what the Olympics mean which. Are these values of inspiration and now. In -- and perseverance but you know always a concern when you've got Olympic Games coming up that down you know any big stage could be a target. And you've done this before you've been of the Olympic Games before how different is at this time in terms of security. And is it changing even now as we get closer to the games different protocols are things that you're told to do you. You know I think security's always been an issue -- 2004 Olympics in Athens were my first games and not you know that was right after 9/11 and all the stories are really about. Very similar and now like what what what might happen and now. No security is unbelievably tight at the Olympics I remember you know we've had Secret Service agents embedded with us the Olympic village. Is you know really a fortress a -- guarded by the military. So I know that everyone in the world are number one priority is to make sure we have a safe games and you can be sure that. The Russians want nothing to happen and they will do everything in our power to make sure that the games go off without a hitch. At the same time we've heard one US Olympic athlete telling his family not to travel with him that he was concerned about that is something is happening you've. Heard a little bit more of amongst your fellow athletes who are going to attend. You know preparing for the games is so personal so obviously you know it's it's seems very -- -- that he you know have to tells parents that he's worried about them not to come. The winner Olympian about to go to the games you want to keep your mind is as clear as possible. Men and so -- in some way Zander stand it. And that that's just I think a real personal choice an athlete has to make I remember when I was twelve years old -- I -- uncomfortable my mom watching me fence I would ever. Stand behind -- -- You know Paul and I was competing position make me nervous so there -- lots of things here as an athlete is trying to clear head and you know I'm -- he knows that you know. He's his parents to be safe but it's just something -- -- I think about site that way I can understand it. You know it's interesting because you've described Olympic villages in the past they -- there's always tight security as -- said. What exactly is it like you know do you have a badge as an athlete competing in the Olympics -- as -- go to certain places. How how restricted are you in terms of. Your movement. -- you have sort of like a really elaborate credentials that you -- this is really your lifeline of the games you you cannot go anywhere without. A credential and and similar to the way money has gotten more advanced these credentials -- -- more events are scanned. This special signatures on them. And so it really really there you have checkpoints all along the gains -- you've got to show your credentials people are you know checking your ID you're also going through metal detectors are checking your stuff so. Everywhere you go you've got you've got touch points -- people -- are checking to see if you're there you know if you are we say you are not you know after carrying anything he shouldn't be. You know. People who worked a lifetime to do you've done which is going to the Olympics you are three time -- -- But. You know -- -- all of that and you and others have worked for how unlikely is it that someone would let. This type of threat deter. Then from going in other words you've come so far who worked so hard even -- you might be scared do you feel like a lot of your athletes are. I've got to do it anyway going to go anyway. Hank I have a hard time imagining any athlete you know being afraid to go to against the something might happen I -- it -- understanding athletes and in training for four years. And if anything right now they've got tunnel vision the gains are few weeks away. The only thing they're thinking about is how they're gonna try to win -- gold battle of the Sochi games. I wouldn't be surprise of lot of them are not reading the papers are not following these stories is really just want to keep your focus on. You know where should be and that's you know one of the things you have to do is not that if you're gonna succeed it's kind of blocked out all distractions and all these type of things that are happening. You know politically. You know happen on every games and just got to focus on what you came there to do the last thing you wanna do is feel like you hot you know let's on the distract you from something you worked your whole life to do you. And surely being and -- an isolated. You know -- ahead of an Olympic village. Could help the T think in the future and you would like to see the IOC take. More are more careful look at the political situation at the you know that the facts on the ground situation in terms of choosing sites for Olympic Games you know people didn't really pay much mind -- -- until it was chosen. And I -- kind of learn about the very volatile history. The area surrounding -- I'm not based. A long time deciding where these games are going to be. You know I feel it every place that gets elected is gonna have pros and cons of minority talking about Rio will -- be ready that was sort of the same thing with Athens. You know -- Beijing it was pollution. So there's there's no there's no perfect place where there's no problem so. I think one of the great things about the games is that he tried transcend all these issues that are happening in the world and you know I think it's great for the games in Russia I hope we get them back in the US soon. I hope we see our first Olympic Games. On the continent of Africa soon -- You know I just think that the Olympics are such an important thing in this world right now that people can see. Everyone getting along and everyone working together and competing together in fair sport and play that. -- I can't understate what I think the games mean to the world and and that it's it's great that the games gets it all over. Silver medalist three time Olympian Tim -- team USA can't forget that. Are you got it. You can have Chris get a complete -- right here at abcnews.com. We're talking about -- Sochi Winter Olympics. And most recent threat via email. Many countries including the US are saying does not appear to be credible for now tired and -- -- New York with his ABC news digital special report.
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