Italy gets 'terrorist threat' ahead of Olympics

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The threats were sent by email to a number of Olympic committees. Photo: Shawn Carpenter/Flickr
12:07 CET+01:00
Italy's National Olympic Committee (CONI) has received terrorist threats, just two weeks ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

The Italian committee, or Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI), “received an email containing terrorist threats” on Wednesday morning, according to a statement published online.

“CONI has learnt that it appears to be similar to those sent to the International Olympic Committee [IOC] and other Olympic committees,” the sporting body said.

The contents of the email were not detailed by CONI, which said it had passed all the information to the authorities in charge of security at the Olympic Games next month.

The IOC, however, said the threat was thought to be a fake. “In this case it seems like the email sent to a number of NOCs [National Olympic Committees] contains no threat and appears to be a random message from a member of the public,” the organization said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: German Olympic team receives Sochi email threats

The email comes amid fears that the Olympics in Sochi, located at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, could be targeted by terrorists.

Islamist insurgents based in North Caucasus republics such as Dagestan are seeking their own independent state and have vowed to disrupt the Games in an effort to undermine Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

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Doku Umarov, the chief of militants in the Caucasus, threatened in July to stage attacks to stop the Games, which are due to run between February 7th and 23rd, from taking place.

Earlier this week, Russian Islamists posted a video online in which they claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in December in the southern city of Volgograd, which killed 34 people.

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