MOSCOW - Two suicide bombings in as many days in Russia are raising fears of a possible terror campaign that could stretch into the Winter Olympics, which kicks off in just six weeks.
Russian authorities insist the site of the games will be heavily protected, but homeland security experts in the U.S. say travelers should be concerned about safety in surrounding cities.
On Sunday, Russian officials say a blast at a train station in the southern Russian city of Volgograd killed 17 people and wounded 35. Then, during the Monday morning rush, another bomb exploded near a trolley bus, killing 14.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says it's likely that Chechen terrorists are behind the attacks. "They see this as a golden opportunity for them to let the world know what they want, and to strike fear into Russians," says King.
King says Russia has stepped up ground security in Sochi, where the games will be held, but has done little to protect surrounding cities, and he says Russia is unable to monitor terrorists the way that the U.S. can.
As of now, however, King says the U.S. has no plans to step in because “the Russians won't take help from the U.S.," according to King. In a statement this afternoon, the White House said it would welcome "closer cooperation" with Russia on security for the games.
The U.S. is also taking extra steps to keep its American teams safe.