State Dept. update: No specific threat in Sochi

The State Department on Friday said in an updated alert there is currently “no indication of a specific threat to U.S. institutions or citizens” in Russia during the Olympic games.

The warning replaces one the department issued on Jan. 24 — also stating "no indication of a specific threat" — after examining information of reported threats.

“Travelers to Sochi should expect increased police presence and enhanced security measures in and around the Olympic venues. There is no indication of a specific threat to U.S. institutions or citizens, but U.S. citizens should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow good security practices,” the updated warning said.

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The updated alert was issued as the Olympic Games began in Sochi on Friday. It also comes a day after lawmakers briefed on intelligences issues were told a “credible threat” exists that terrorists might bomb flights heading to Sochi from the United States using toothpaste tubes.   

“U.S. citizens are urged to remain vigilant and exercise good judgment and discretion when using any form of public transportation.  When traveling, U.S. citizens may wish to provide a friend, family member, or coworker a copy of their itinerary,” the new alert continued.

Lawmakers have warned softer targets like locations outside of Sochi might be the most vulnerable to terror attacks.

Reports have circulated in the last month that female suicide bombers known as “black widows” might target the games.

On Friday, the State Department said “these reports have not been corroborated, and the U.S. government continues to seek further information.” 

President Obama said in an interview with NBC News on Thursday that the U.S. will continue to collaborate on security matters with the Russians.

“I think the Russians have an enormous stake, obviously, in preventing any kind of terrorist act or violence at these venues,” Obama said. “We are consistently working with them to make sure that not only our athletes are safe, but everyone who’s attending these Games are safe.”