WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military will have up to two warships and several transport aircraft on standby under a contingency plan to help evacuate American officials and athletes from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, if ordered, a U.S. official said.
The State Department would take the lead in organizing and evacuating Americans, if necessary, the official with direct knowledge of the plan said.
Moscow would have to ask for such assistance before the United States would act, the official said.
But planes and ships are clearly there "if something happens like a major terrorist attack and we need to get Americans out," the official said.
An online video surfaced on a Jihadi forum on Sunday threatening February's Winter Games.
This followed deadly bombings in the city of Volgograd recently that raised concerns over Olympic security. Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, is a major transit hub for travel to Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged that visitors to Russia for the Olympics will be safe.
U.S. contingency planning calls for warships to launch helicopters to Sochi from the Black Sea. C-17 transport aircraft would be on standby in Germany and could be on the scene in about two hours.
Other aircraft contracted to the State Department would also play a role.
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