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POLITICS: PennAve

Mike Rogers: Russians 'kicking in doors' to secure Winter Olympics

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Olympics,Russia,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Terrorism,Mike Rogers,Sochi

The head of the House Intelligence Committee praised Russia for its physical security measures and counterterrorism efforts at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

"The guards, gates and guns portion of this is really unparalleled for an Olympic Games," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "The Russians have been very good about that physical security presence, an outer ring, and then they've had inner rings of security."

Rogers said the Russians have "done well" with counterterrorism operations that "include kicking in doors and taking people down."

"They are aggressively pursuing leads that they have," he said.

But Rogers, like many U.S. lawmakers, criticized the Russians for an unwillingness to share intelligence information regarding terrorism threats from within Russia.

"We were hoping that the Russians would share more internal information on security threats," he said.

The Republican said security officials are particularly concerned about the so-called young female suicide bombers called "black widows" who have been blamed for bomb attacks elsewhere in Russia.

Rogers added that even an attack by the black widows or other terrorists outside the "ring of steel" security perimeter around the Olympic site would be considered a victory by them.

"I don't believe that the terrorists think they have to have a venue event, a terrorist attack on a particular venue," he said. "They just have to have some disruptive event somewhere."

"They're going to try to find the weakest point that they can find. And it may be outside one of those rings of security."

When asked if U.S. officials were prepared to evacuate American athletes in the event, or threat, of an attack, Rogers said that "all the preparation that can be done to protect our athletes from a United States perspective is there."

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Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner