In the wake of two major terror attacks in two days in Volgograd, not all that far from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, does anyone remember this not-so-veiled threat made to Vladimir Putin by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, back in August?
Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”
In other words, Bandar told Putin “do what I tell you or there will be Islamic-inspired terror attacks on your precious Sochi Games”.
Putin responded thus:
Putin thanked King Abdullah for his greetings and Bandar for his exposition, but then he said to Bandar, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”
Marcy Wheeler certainly remembers all of this:
Admittedly, this version of the threat was Putin’s version of it, and admittedly Putin has his own history of allowing attacks to happen.
By the way, nobody in Iran, the country that Bandar really wants us to hate, has made similar threats against Russian or Western targets.