All Eyes on Sochi Security

By Kellie Bartoli

Published 01/22 2014 05:27PM

Updated 01/22 2014 07:48PM

We're just 15 days away from the Winter Olympics, and all eyes are on the Sochi - and its security.

From terror threats to the so-called "black widow" suicide bombers, concerns continue to mount as the Games near.

Vincennes University Professor Lou Caprino spent 29 years as an FBI agent, including working in Sydney, Australia during the Summer Games of 2000, and he believes these upcoming Olympics could become very dangerous.

"There's a huge and very credible threat," said Caprino, who's now the head of the Homeland Security Department at VU.

U.S. officials say the terror threat in Sochi is the highest of any Olympics, but unlike past Games, the host country says they can handle things themselves.

"We had quite a bit of exposure and interaction with the security personnel in Sydney," Caprino recalls.

Lou Caprino, a man with decades of FBI experience, says there are several sources where security could falter - from the "black widows" who target large-scale events, to the distance between Olympic events, meaning athletes and fans will take to travel 29 miles on two-lane roads. And despite the so-called "ring of security" where 40,000 police will patrol, Sochi is too open.

"I really think that the opportunity for a terrorist to attack, given the fact that they are so close and neighboring Chechnya, is very real," said Caprino

Caprino's security team in Sydney spent weeks before and after the games, and the FBI worked closely with the Australian law enforcement. This time around though, only 40 U.S. agents are expected on the ground - and Caprino worries about that impact on Americans if something does happen.

"I don't know if we have the capability to actually do an immediate evacuation if necessary. I think that is going to be a challenge," said Caprino.

The White House just announced "full support and assistance" to the Russian government, and Caprino believes if the country doesn't take it, they're going to have their hands full.

"The ability to identify suspicious activity, chatter, etc. prior to an actual attack is going to make a difference in Sochi. It's one thing to have the 40,000+ law-enforcement security and muscle... but without that soul of a good history intelligence stream,  I think they are at risk," said Caprino.

Another potential warning? Public health facilities. Many of them have been built specifically for the games, so they haven't truly been tested.

The U.S. State Department has also issued a travel alert for any Americans traveling to Russia. For more information, click here.

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