U.S. Olympic Official Says Russia Bombings Raise Concerns for Sochi Games

The chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee calls attacks "a preview of what could happen"

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A top U.S. Olympic official said Tuesday the dual terrorist attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd are “a preview of what could happen” at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“We’re concerned,” said Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, on NBC’s “Today” show. “I think this is the first time that we’ve had an incident so close to the Games both in terms of geography and in terms of time.” A bomber killed at least 18 people in Volgograd’s railway station on Sunday, and a second attacker killed 15 others on Monday. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Chechen warlord Doku Umarov had previously vowed to disrupt the Games, which begin in February.

Blackmun said the U.S. delegation to Sochi had contingency plans in place for future attacks, but hoped it wouldn’t need to use them. “In this case we got a preview of what could happen, but we’re very hopeful that the Russians’ commitment to security, which is frankly one of the highest levels of commitment we’ve ever seen from a government and an organizing committee, will serve us well,” he said.

The Russian government has intensified security across the country after the bombings.