In one of the sharpest expressions yet of American worries about possible terrorist threats to the Sochi Olympics, a key lawmaker in Congress said on Sunday that he was "very concerned" about security preparations there.
But in a separate interview on Sunday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said that the nation would "do whatever it takes" to protect the thousands of visitors arriving soon for the Winter Games. And Mr. Putin reiterated that Russia would welcome athletes and visitors of any sexual orientation, despite laws in his country that are hostile to gay men and lesbians.
The congressman, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that American officials working with Russians ahead of the Games had "found a departure of cooperation that is very concerning."
More from NYT:
- Russia trains all eyes on Sochi
- Russian forces kill 7 suspected of an attack
- Congressional leaders suggest earlier Snowden link to Russia
In particular, Mr. Rogers said on the CNN program "State of the Union," "they're not giving us the full story about, what are the threat streams, who do we need to worry about, are those groups — the terrorist groups who have had some success — are they still plotting?"
Two suicide bombings in the central Russian city of Volgograd late last year claimed at least 34 lives, raising fears about the security of the Olympics in Sochi, which is about 400 miles to the southwest. Extremists affiliated with the militant leader Doku Umarov have vowed to disrupt the Olympics.
With an estimated 15,000 Americans planning to travel to Sochi for the Games, which begin Feb. 6, Mr. Rogers said his concerns would remain until Russian security services provided their "full cooperation."
(Read more: Winter Olympics inthe subtropics)
Another key member of Congress, Representative Michael T. McCaul, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, also expressed concerns about Sochi preparations, though he said he believed that "President Putin is taking this very seriously" and "taking all the precautions."
But given the recent deadly attacks by regional terrorist groups and the threats of more to come, Mr. McCaul said he believed that attacks somewhere in Russia during the Olympics were "likely."
With the Russians promising to surround Sochi with a "ring of steel," Mr. McCaul said on the ABC program "This Week," "I think it's more likely that the attacks would probably happen outside the perimeter, more soft targets, transportation modes, if you will."
(Read more: Putin loosensprotest ban in Sochi for the Olympics)