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Sport: Sochi threats 'groundless' says Russia

Man with possible mental problems targeted CONI, others

30 January, 15:20
Sport: Sochi threats 'groundless' says Russia (ANSA) - Moscow, January 30 - Threats against several Olympic teams including Italy's competing in next month's Winter Games in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi are "groundless", a senior Russian secret service official said Thursday.

Aleksiei Lavrishev, an FSB director, said the threats came from a Russian citizen living abroad "whose mental health we have doubts about".

The threats, he said, are "without any foundation".

Italian Olympic Committee CONI and other Olympic committees, including Hungary's, Britain's and Slovenia's, received threats last week.

CONI President Giovanni Malago' said he was confident about the security measures for the February 7-23 Games, which an Islamist group from Russia's North Caucasus has threatened to target.

Italy will take a team of around 120 athletes to Sochi.

The government has said Premier Enrico Letta intends to go to the opening ceremony, unless something unexpected occurs.

The threats came after Russian security officials said they were hunting three potential female suicide bombers ahead of the games.

One of the suspects, 22-year-old Ruzanna Ibragimova - the widow of a suicide bomber - was reported to be at large in Sochi itself.

The other two suspects were identified as Zaira Aliyeva, 26, and Dzhannet Tsakhayeva, 34. Police said the three had been trained "to perpetrate acts of terrorism".

Last month the southern Russian city of Volgograd was rocked by two suicide bombings, which killed 34 and injured dozens more.