MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia believes rebel groups are planning attacks on the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, the chief of the state security service said on Thursday, according to Russian news agencies.
The Black Sea resort city of Sochi is close to Russia's North Caucasus region, scene of a long-running Islamist insurgency.
Alexander Bortnikov, the chief of the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said he believed that Islamist groups would try to force the cancellation of the Games, but did not mention any specific plots.
"Threats from al Qaeda were the reason for the cancellation of the Dakar 2008 road race... Militant leaders have clearly expressed their intention to play out a similar scenario on the eve of the 2014 Olympics," the state-run RIA news agency quoted Bortnikov as saying.
Russia faces an insurgency in the north Caucasus region that has spread from Chechnya, which has fought two secessionist wars with Moscow, to the neighboring regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia. The insurgents have carried out attacks in the Russian heartland, including Moscow.
(Writing by Conor Humphries; editing by Ralph Boulton)