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Russian Agency Says It Foiled Potential Attack On Sochi, 2014 Olympics Host City

A Russian anti-terrorism agency says that its secret service agents have thwarted a planned attack on Sochi, the city slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia's FSB security service says it found 10 caches of weapons that it believes were meant to be used during either preparations for the Olympics or in an attack during the Games themselves.

From Moscosw, Jessica Golloher filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

"According to Russia's national anti-terrorist committee, the secret service agency has seized grenades, portable surface-to-air missiles, explosives, rifles and other weapons in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia. The area is very close to Sochi."

"The FSB says it believes Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov is responsible for masterminding the attacks, saying he coordinated delivery for the weapons to Georgia. Umarov is leader of the Caucasus Emirate, a group that wants to establish an Islamist state in Russia's northern Caucasus region."

In 2011, Umarov claimed responsibility for a bomb attack at the Domodedovo Airport, which killed 35 people.

The FSB claims that Umarov's group has ties to Georgia's secret service — something Georgian officials deny.

Georgia Interior Ministry chief of staff Shota Khizanishvili tells The Moscow Timesthat he is not impressed by the FSB's claims that his government is linked to the rebel group.

"I can only say that the National Anti-Terrorist Committee is staffed with people with peculiar fantasies," he said. "They're always trying to accuse Georgia and its secret services of everything in any situation and without any grounds. This is a sign of a severe paranoia."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.