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`Black Widows` pose threat to safety at Sochi Olympics

Posted January. 23, 2014 06:58,   


They hide themselves in dark, closed places such as basement, car garage, or shed. They remain in hiding mostly indoors during winter. Attack is fatal. It has poison 15 times lethal than that of the rattlesnake. Only the female bites. This is description of Black Widow, a spider specie living in Eurasia and North America. Black Widow is also the title of comics series published for a long time by Marvel Comics, the U.S. firm that also published Spider Man, X Man, and Hulk. In the series, the main female character is a superhero or plays role to that effect.

Black widows formed an organization called “Black Widows,” increasing worries over safety among people worldwide. Black Widows, the Chechnya terrorist group, is a nightmare to Russia. The group has been involved in major terror attacks including the 2002 hostage taking at a theater in Moscow, and the 2010 terror attack at Moscow subway that claimed many lives over the past 10 plus years. They are women who lost their husbands or brothers, or were raped during independence fight to separate Chechnya from Russia, and thus have hostility stronger than affection for their own life. They consider suicide bombing an act of martyrdom. Those who commit suicide bombings believe they will reunite with their husbands or relatives in heaven.

A security alert has been issued due to intelligence that Black Widows smuggled themselves into Sochi ahead of the Winter Olympics that opens on February 7. Russia, which proclaimed that it will hold the safest event ever in Olympic history, has put in place water-tight security by mobilizing tens of thousands of police and military troops, but it seems to have had loopholes open for Black Widows. President Vladimir Putin violently quashes terrorists to block attacks even by risking casualties and fatalities, but has failed to check Black Widows’ activities at bay. The U.S. and Russian chairmen of Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed a way for Washington to provide Moscow with electronic equipment for counter terrorism.

The 1972 Munich Olympics was tainted with terror attack by Black September, a Palestinian terror group. Nine Israeli athletes, one policeman, and five terrorists were killed. A terror attack like the one staged by Black September some 40 years ago should never occur in Sochi, which will host the global sports extravaganza. To be ready for contingency, the U.S. is preparing countermeasures on its own to ready for emergency. The South Korean government should also beef up security measures.

Editorial Writer Han Ki-heung (eligius@donga.com)