The modern Olympic Games have seen to terrorism over the last 40 years, be it the 1996 Atlanta bombing, the 1972 massacre in Munich or the 2002 Salt Lake City games that fell in the shadow of 9/11. 

While Russia has attempted to downplay the severity of the terrorist threat at the Sochi venue, it is still deploying tens of thousands of soldiers, police and undercover law enforcers in an attempt to stop the possibility of an attack, but the recent news that drones will fly overhead during the event that is supposed to be a beacon of peace and unity, may trouble many.

Now 13-plus years after New York’s darkest day, the threat of terrorism has never been greater and the Olympic Games in Sochi, many think, will be where it could hit.

  • Sochi Security Jan 2014
    Police officers with sniffer dogs trained to search for explosives, patrol at the Olympic Park in the Adler district of Sochi, January 28, 2014. Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from February 7 to February 23. Photo: Reuters
  • Olympic rings
    The London Olympics saw military deployed across the city. Sochi will have even tighter security. Photo: Luke Mcgregor/Reuters

To that end, the FSB took over security operations in 2010 and have implemented a number counterterrorism measures. Along with 40,000 police officers, 5000 security cameras have been installed across the city with drones operating overhead. In addition, according to the FSB’s in-house magazine, sonar systems will be in use to detect submarine attacks from the nearby Black Sea.

The Sochi Olympics will take place near the troubled Caucuses region of Russia where a number of insurgencies operate. Those who thought the mega-event would pass without trouble need only remember the Volgograd bombing by the Black Widows in October that killed five people.

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The FSB have also installed specialized mobile networks that are able to monitor and filter all mobile traffic. On top of that, they have introduced legislation that will enable online communications to also be monitored.

That attack and subsequent threats against the Olympic Games have overshadowed what was supposed be a sporting legacy for Russia and the world to remember, but instead the current terrorism threat threatens to only leave a legacy of fear.