Terrorism Expert at GVSU says Threats to the Winter Olympics are ‘Very Real’

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jan 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-22 19:49:45-05

ALLENDALE, Mich. – As the world prepares for the Winter Olympics, all eyes are on the threat of possible terrorist attacks on this international event.

Russian security is searching for at least three women who are thought to be “Black Widows,” a group that’s carried out suicide-bombings after their husbands were killed by the government.

Now just weeks before the Olympics begin in Sochi, Grand Valley State University professor and renowned expert on religious terrorism Jonathan White says the potential threat of attacks is very real.

“Explosions in China, explosions in the United States, explosions in Sochi absolutely: we need new forms of international cooperation and probably an international military force led by the developed nations,” says White.

White says the security will be layered in Sochi.

“The more hurdles a suicide-bomber has to go through, the less likely the suicide-bomber will reach a target. The danger is for the security forces, especially on the outer perimeters because many times the explosion occurs just there; the frustrated bomber can’t get in,” explains White.

In the wake of recent bombings near the site of the Olympics, along with the region’s ongoing unrest, White says terrorism will be the new American way of war.

“We are going to have terrorism for at least the next century; I hope I’m absolutely incorrect,” adds White.

To keep people safe at the Olympics, White says it’s going to take countries working together. He feels the best thing going for the United States is the joint task-forces led by the FBI. According to White, these task-forces have stopped almost three dozen terrorist attacks in the last four years just in the United States.

“We are fighting with fully-armored troops ready for a decisive battle. Nope. This war is in the shadows and we are learning to fight in the shadows, and we need to fight there with international cooperation,” reiterates White.

Yet White believes the United States is winning the war against terrorism.

“We’re not behind we’re developing measures and we’re learning as we go,” says White.