U.S. Military Offers Antiterrorism Support at Sochi Winter Olympics

Security concerns heightened after militants threaten to attack the event

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The United States military is ready to support Russia during the Olympic Games in Sochi, the Pentagon said Monday. American military officers are “conducting prudent planning and preparations,” while the U.S. Navy is prepared to deploy two ships to assist Russia if such a request is made, Reuters reports.

“Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested for all manner of contingencies in support of — and in consultation with — the Russian government,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby in a statement.

The Pentagon’s announcement came as a militant group that claimed responsibility for deadly bombings in Volgograd earlier this month warned of similar attacks against the Winter Olympics. The games are being held in February.

“If you hold these Olympics, we will give you a present for the innocent Muslim blood being spilled all around the world: in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Syria,” say militants in a video.

The U.S. State Department has warned Americans traveling to the Sochi Olympics that “they should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times.”