As the world gears up for this year’s Winter Olympics, concerns are growing about the event’s location in Sochi, Russia. Bombings and terrorist attacks have taken place across the country, largely spearheaded by anti-Russian Islamic military groups.
According to the New York Daily News, Russian officials are currently searching for four women that they believe are involved in a terrorist plot that would target the winter games. The primary target in the search is Ruzanna Ibragimova, a 22-year-old woman whose husband was killed during a shootout with police last year. Her husband was reportedly involved in militant Islamic activities.
Although Ibragimova's home is in Dagestan, she has been missing for over a month, and Russian authorities believe she may have already snuck into Sochi. Russian law enforcement officials reportedly killed Ibragimova’s husband in anticipation of an attack he may have launched on the games.
Individuals whose Islamic militant husbands have been killed are deemed “black widows” by the Russian authorities, who are searching for at least three other missing women in anticipation of the start of the games.
ABC News spoke to Georgetown University professor Christopher Swift about potential security concerns involving the black widows at the olympics.
“The fact that one individual either was able to stay in the area before the ring of steel went up or get through it really raises questions about the strength of the Russia security apparatus. The specific worry is that she’s a woman and because of that it’s easier for women to infiltrate indoor or outdoor venues, that she could be a bomb carrier. Usually, in the past, when we’ve seen female suicide bombings, there’s ... been two women who are both bombers,” Swift said.
Russian officials have maintained their position that the games will remain safe, but American and other national forces have already begun implementing plans to keep their fans and athletes safe should an attack occur.