Back in July, Bandar bin Sultan met with Vladimir Putin. As part of an effort to buy off Putin’s support of Bashar al-Assad, Bandar allegedly promised to be able to prevent terrorist attacks tied to the Sochi Olympics.
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.” [my emphasis]
Admittedly, this version of the threat was Putin’s version of it, and admittedly Putin has his own history of allowing attacks to happen.
So as we follow the aftermath of the two attacks in Volgograd in two days, and as we get closer to the February start date for the Olympics, it’s worth remembering that Bandar boasted of controlling the Islamic terrorists in Russia.