'We will give you a present': video posted by militant group threatens Sochi Olympics
Published Sunday, January 19, 2014 4:40PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 19, 2014 10:24PM EST
With the Sochi Winter Olympics less than three weeks away, an Islamic militant group has posted a video warning of a “surprise package” awaiting tourists at the Games.
In a video posted online Sunday, two men reportedly tied to a militant group known as Vilayat Dagestan warn President Vladimir Putin that if the games are held, ‘we will give you a present for the innocent Muslim blood being spilled around the world.”
The Russian-speaking men add that “for the tourists who come, there will be a present too.”
The video goes on to show the men preparing various bomb-making materials.
In addition to the new threats, the men also claim responsibility for the twin bombings in Volgograd in December that killed 34 people. The attack occurred about 650 kilometres from where the Sochi Games are scheduled to take place.
The two men have not been identified.
The attacks near Sochi have heightened international concerns surrounding the safety of the upcoming Olympic Games in Russia, as governments around the world ask tourists to take safety precautions while travelling to the country.
The Canadian Olympic Committee released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying that the security of Canadian athletes, coaches and personnel will always remain their top priority.
“The Canadian Olympic Committee works very closely with the RCMP, Sochi and Russian security agencies, medical and government partners in the months and years leading up to the Games to ensure the entire team remains safe throughout the Games,” the statement said.
“As with each Olympic Games, our safety and security measures are always adapted as required.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the U.S. have expressed serious concerns about the safety of its athletes, saying that Moscow needs to demonstrate greater co-operation on security issues.
"We don't seem to be getting all of the information we need to protect our athletes in the games," said Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
"I think this needs to change, and it should change soon."
Putin has said his country will do all it can to ensure the safety of athletes and tourists during the Games and has stepped up security measures across many Olympic venues.
With files from The Associated Press.
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