Congressman: Don't let Sochi Olympics become Benghazi, Boston Marathon
December 30th, 2013
02:07 PM ET
4 months ago

Congressman: Don't let Sochi Olympics become Benghazi, Boston Marathon

(CNN) – Rep. Michael Grimm on Monday likened the recent bombings in southern Russia to the security threats leading up to the deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, as well as red flags ahead of the Boston Marathon bombings.

As the world prepares for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in less than six weeks, the Republican congressman from New York said "we cannot sweep these threats under the rug, like we did with Benghazi or the warnings from Russia on the Tsarnaev brother behind the Boston Marathon bombing."

A second suspected suicide bombing struck the city of Volgograd on Monday, killing at least 14 people. The explosion came one day after 17 people were killed in a blast at the city's main train station.

A spokesman for Russia's federal investigation agency told a state-run news outlet that both explosions were terrorist attacks, though no one has claimed responsibility.

Volgograd is about 400 miles northeast of Sochi.

Grimm, the co-chair of the House Russian Caucus, called for the U.S. to work closely with Russia and allies "to combat the threat of terrorism."

"That begins with taking every threat seriously and acting accordingly, so that the Winter Olympics remain a dream for athletes around the globe, instead of becoming a nightmare like Benghazi," he said in a statement.

Grimm's district, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has a notable Russian population and constituents from other former Soviet Union republics.

The U.S. government on Monday offered its "full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

She added that "we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants."

- CNN's Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Michael Grimm • Olympics
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Donna

    Don't worry Congressman. The Russians take the war on terrorists seriously unlike the Obama administration, who thinks these are all simple criminal events or workplace violence in order to downplay the threat posed.

    December 30, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Congressman Grimm has an approriate name!

    December 30, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Tony

    I wish the Congressman was there to tell George W. Bush to take Clinton's warning on Al Qaeda seriously.

    December 30, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. rs

    Donna
    Don't worry Congressman. The Russians take the war on terrorists seriously unlike the Obama administration, who thinks these are all simple criminal events or workplace violence in order to downplay the threat posed.
    ____________
    Naturally, you overlook the obvious fact that Russia deals with more domestic terrorism than the United States, but don't worry! That's justified because you hate the U.S. Government and the President.

    December 30, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. O'drama ya Mama

    Donna

    Don't worry Congressman. The Russians take the war on terrorists seriously unlike the Obama administration, who thinks these are all simple criminal events or workplace violence in order to downplay the threat posed.
    December 30, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Yea Obama wasnt serious at all when he got Bin Laden, Gaddafi, the leader of Al Shabaab and half of the Al Qaeda leadership. smh...

    December 30, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Grimm, the co-chair of the House Russian Caucus, called for the U.S. to work closely with Russia and allies "to combat the threat of terrorism."
    --------------------
    Would John Boehner kindly ask this guy to stop the grandstanding and spreading false information? Grimm should already know that the U.S. and its' allies have already offered the Russians assistance with security, but HAVE BEEN DECLINED.

    December 30, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Be afraid of rethugs who see evil and smarminess at every turn!
    Can they give up the Benghazi BS already? There's nothing there.

    December 30, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    "instead of becoming a nightmare like Benghazi"

    Benghazi is a nightmare because of people like this wall eyed partisan. It is a tragedy being used daily by the righties to score political points.
    So, is the House going to go back in session and add the money for the security to our embassies and overseas interests that they have slashed to the bone? Answer: No... if they took accountabillity for this then how can they trot Benghazi out every time something doesn't go their way... or there is good news for the country like Obamacare is showing to do what it was promised to do and people are signing up at a higher rate than they predicted (actually most their predictions resulted in the world coming to an end if the bill was passed, but that kinda' went the way of the Mayan calendar). Or, that the most respected Americans are the sitting President and the next President- both Democrats.
    Cue the Benghazi nuts....

    December 30, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Some of you right wingnuts are still living in 2001. As for Grimm, does this mean republicans will be willing to spend more on security, unlike opposing funding on security for Benghazi?

    December 30, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. PaulCat

    Don't forget the war that Bush started that killed thousands of our men and women in uniform.

    Really, republicans just don't know what to say, as long as they get "air" time.

    Pleaseeeee, get a LIFE.

    December 30, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    Benghazi ? Could they ever host a significant Sporting Event ? Had to throw that in.

    December 30, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Congressman Grimm has an approriate name
    -------------------------------------------------
    I thought the same thing Jeff upon reading what we can ony term as wishful doom and gloom on the part of the Republicans.
    Matter of fact, I guess it was only his age that prevented him from going completely off the deep end and comparing it to the terrorist attack during the 1972 Munich Olympics; well his age and the fact that the Republicans haven't been able to convince anyone that President Obama's administration had something to do with that.

    December 30, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @Donna
    Don't worry Congressman. The Russians take the war on terrorists seriously unlike the Obama administration, who thinks these are all simple criminal events or workplace violence in order to downplay the threat posed.
    ----------
    Unlike the GOP defunding security for embassies repeatedly, leading to Benghazi, I think the Russians will take it more seriously.

    December 30, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Grimm, the co-chair of the House Russian Caucus, called for the U.S. to work closely with Russia and allies "to combat the threat of terrorism."
    ------------------------------------------
    I recall Russia waging an assault on the terrorist cell that was associated with the Tsarnaev brothers. This is nothing but more scare tactics from the right and a chance for Rep. Grimm to get some media attention. Speaking of Sochi, I think that will be an opportune time for us to abduct Snowden and bring him back to the U.S. to face justice.

    December 30, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Donna

    O'drama ya Mama
    Yea Obama wasnt serious at all when he got Bin Laden, Gaddafi, the leader of Al Shabaab and half of the Al Qaeda leadership. smh...
    ---

    Fort Hood. Work place violence. A total farce to pretend it was not another attack in the USA while Obama wa s in office. Classifying it that way denied the injured military personnel appropriate compensation and recognition of their injuries. Horrendous treatment of our military by the Obama administration all to save his political hide. But now we all know what kind of a deceitful liar he truly is.

    December 30, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Naturally, you overlook the obvious fact that Russia deals with more domestic terrorism than the United States
    -------------------------------------------------
    Although, rs,in all fairness we must admit that our very own domestic terorists aka Republicans in their many and various incarnations – Tea Party, Heritage Foundation, Birthers, Koch Brothers, Limpballs, Faux News et al – are giving the Russian domestic terrorists a run for their money.
    Kinda hard to tell who's doing a better job of terrorizing the populace and trying to bring their country to it's knees between these two factions.

    December 30, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We did offer the Russians help with security. They turned us down. Let the record speak for itself.
    Sec. of State Clinton asked for more money to secure our embassies and consulates abroad. The Republicans turned that down.
    But please proceed with Benghaziiiiii!, Ben-gha-ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!

    December 30, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. dwicjan

    Sounds to me that we really need to think seriously about sending our US athletes to Sochi. What a mess. Some people just have no respect for the lives of others.

    December 30, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. John in Brooklyn

    Funny how Republicans have become so cynically righteous about how well they protect us against terrorism compared to the Democrats. Do they really think we've forgotten that we also had credible intelligence about 9/11 when George Bush was in the White House? And, speaking of Republicans and national security....where exactly were those WMD's in Iraq?

    December 30, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. just saying

    Silence DoGood
    Unlike the GOP defunding security for embassies repeatedly, leading to Benghazi, I think the Russians will take it more seriously.
    --–

    more lies easily proven to be lies..... lies are all the lefties have these days!

    Oct. 10, 2012 hearing:

    QUESTION: It has been suggested that budget cuts were responsible for a lack of security in Benghazi. And I'd like to ask Ms. Lamb, you made this decision personally. Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?
    DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE CHARLENE LAMB: No, sir.
    ***
    QUESTION: So there's not a budget problem. It's not you all don't have the money to do this?
    LAMB: Sir, it's a volatile situation. We will move assets to cover that.

    December 30, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    We did offer the Russians help with security. They turned us down. Let the record speak for itself.
    Sec. of State Clinton asked for more money to secure our embassies and consulates abroad. The Republicans turned that down.
    But please proceed with Benghaziiiiii!, Ben-gha-ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!
    ---------
    Good for you! The GOP pulled the plug on embassy security and act surprised when a Benghazi happens (many embassy attacks during Bush years too of course). But since ACA has less and less to criticize and is actually helping people they need to chant "benghazi". If not what's left? Go back to "birth certificate"? Don't laugh, I saw that on a blog the other day!

    December 30, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. IA

    Marie MD...Benghazi is not BS...Whats BS is the way this Administration handled it and has stonewalled it going forward. Take of the"video" colored glasses!

    December 30, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    QUESTION: So there's not a budget problem. It's not you all don't have the money to do this?
    LAMB: Sir, it's a volatile situation. We will move assets to cover that
    -------------------------------------------------
    "We will move assets to cover that".
    Sounds like a budget problem when you have to shift "assets" from one place to cover another.
    If you had enough "assets" (human or dollars) you would'nt have to be playing "switch the shift" to compensate.

    December 30, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    13 BENGHAZI'S under GWB
    ----------------–

    January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

    June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

    October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of "Bali Bombings." No fatalities.

    February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

    May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

    July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

    December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

    March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name "David Foy." This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)

    September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

    January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

    March 18, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

    July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

    September 17, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

    December 30, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Tony

    One thing is for certain: Russia does not have a Congress that can do what House Republicans did. House Republicans cut funding on embassy security before Benghazi, then complained that the Obama Administration did not provide enough embassy security in Benghazi.

    December 30, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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