Security heightened as Sochi Games set to begin - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Security heightened as Sochi Games set to begin

Updated:
SOCHI, RUSSIA -

Tens of thousands of police and soldiers are surrounding the Olympic venues, due to several terror threats made toward the Winter Games.

But even with that security, the Olympics are a prime target for terrorists.

The locals in Sochi are very proud of their home and are ready to show it off to the rest of the world.

But how safe is it?

Many armed guards are patrolling in plain view inside the Olympic park.

"I think the security measures to get into this bubble are very tight. It's hard to know if they'll be effective or not until they're actually tested, but there are militant groups who say they want to target the Games, we've been reporting on that," said NBC News Senior Correspondent Richard Engel. "Those militant groups, some of them are quite capable, but it would be difficult for them, frankly, to get close to the athletes, to get close to any of the venues."

The Olympic Village, however, feels secure.

"You have to go through many layers of security checks. Bags are checked, vehicles are checked, identity papers and ID cards are checked. If they were to do something, they would have to be determined and a little bit lucky," Engel said.

The venues are safe, but what about being away from the bright lights? It seems like it's more about soft targets, away from the Olympic zone.

"That's what people have been talking about, that if there were any kind of attack, the intelligence assessments that we've been getting are that they would be some kind of soft target," said Engel.

The Winter Olympics are finally here and hopefully we'll be talking about gold medals and not terrorist attacks.

"Why bother, necessarily, if you're a terrorist, to try to come to the most secure location and risk failure?" Engel said "These groups, they want to carry out a terrorist attack, they don't want to fail. So why risk failure, arrest, when there are other targets to hit? But again, hopefully none of this is going to happen, we just are reporting on the threats they've been making, very publicly, to the Games."

The Opening Ceremonies to the Winter Olympics in Sochi can be seen Friday night starting at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 13.

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