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Intelligence work most important part of Olympic security, Romney says

By Mary Richards | Posted - Jan 6th, 2014 @ 9:00am

SALT LAKE CITY — Security is a top concern with about a month to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Former Olympic leader Mitt Romney weighed in, saying he believes Russia cannot afford to be caught off guard.

Romney led the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City just months after the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S. He said the heart of Olympic security isn't the bomb screenings or fences around the venues, but the intelligence work in the months and years before the event.

"I'm convinced that in the case of a nation like Russia they have the resources to do their very best to protect the people from that kind of attack," he told Fox News on Sunday.

Tens of thousands of police and security personnel have arrived in Sochi and the surrounding area 31 days before the games.

Romney said his guess is that Russian intelligence is keeping the most dangerous people away. But he said there is always concern about violence when the world comes together for the Olympics.

My guess is the Russians have done a pretty good job on the intelligence side of things to keep the most dangerous people away.

–Mitt Romney

"I don't think any major global event that brings people from all over the world together like the Olympics can possibly escape the threat of violence," he said.

Romney said he's confident the games will be successful because the athletes are the heart of the games.

Two suicide bombings in Russia earlier this month killed 31 people and raised concerns that Islamic militants have begun a terrorist campaign in Russia that could stretch into the Olympics. Russian and international Olympic officials insisted the site of the games is completely safe.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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