Russian Police Hunt For Alleged Suicide Bomber On The Loose in Sochi
Up until now, most terrorist provocations surrounding the Sochi winter olympics set to begin on February 7, had been in the surrounding cities (here is dramatic video footage of the recent suicide bombing in Sochi) while the actual venue has been largely left untouched. Perhaps this is due to the security gauntlet that has wrapped the city under the constant supervision of countless eyes in the sky and about 70,000 police and soldiers. This tenuous peace, however, was disturbed this morning when as Bloomberg reported, Russian police were searching for an alleged terrorist Razmena Ibragimova, according to a wanted poster on display at a security checkpoint in Sochi’s airport. Ibragimova, 22, is "currently located on Sochi territory" and may attempt a suicide bombing, according to the poster. According to information from BlogSochi she was spotted on the street outside the foreign ministry building in Sochi.
BlogSochi has the photo details:
And while so far Sochi has not seen an actual act of terrorism, it seems ticket demand for the games is inversely proportional with the build up in security for what is set to be the most expensive winter olympics in history with over a $51 billion price tag, of which over $3 billion will be spent on security.
Bloomberg reports that listings of tickets put up for resale on a “fan to fan” website have soared almost 50 percent over the past week, with more than 3,100 offers now posted. Most offers include multiple tickets, up to a maximum eight per offer. "The U.S. website of CoSport, the exclusive ticket agent for North America and most of Western Europe, still lists seats available for some sought-after events such as the gold-medal match in men’s ice hockey. The Sochi 2014 website, the official sales outlet for residents of Russia and many other countries, has tickets available for more than 100 events."
The growing inventory on the fan-to-fan site suggests that “availability is far greater than demand,” says Marlies Hoedemaker, secretary of the EU Secondary Ticketing Association, an Amsterdam-based trade group for ticket-resale companies. Some buyers may have changed their minds about going, she says, while others may have bet—unsuccessfully—that if they bought tickets early they could resell them at a profit later when supplies ran low. People who resell on the Sochi-authorized fan-to-fan site can recoup only the ticket’s face value.
CoSport, for example, is offering a pair of tickets to the men’s bronze- and gold-medal hockey matches for $3,666 per person. Three nights in a Sochi hotel would cost another $1,584. The cheapest roundtrip airfare to Sochi from New York City during the games, according to several travel search engines, is more than $1,600 and requires long layovers in Istanbul or Moscow. Flights with more-convenient connections cost more than $4,000.
Commercial ticket brokers aren’t selling many Winter Games tickets, as the organizing committee designated only a handful of authorized sales outlets and threatened stiff penalties against Russians who tried to resell tickets outside official channels. “My members have been offered a lot of tickets. I personally receive an e-mail each week with a spreadsheet full of inventory,” says Graham Burns, chairman of the London-based Association of Secondary Ticket Agents. But, he says, “the brokers don’t want to get involved.”
Of course, should a deadly terrorist attack take place, nosediving ticket sales will be the least of Putin's concern, or of Russia, which is still riding high on the reputational gains achieved after the various diplomatic victories in 2013. Which is why security at the games is indeed unprecedetned, as the following 10 minutes review from The National demonstrates.
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