GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A GVSU professor and terrorism expert says a terrorist attack on the Olympics is a real threat because it allows terror groups to project the appearance of power.
"Terrorists aren't strong, so they have to project an image to appear like they are strong," says Jonathan White.
After a threatening video made by two men was released, authorities are looking for a "black widow," the wife of a dead militant who may be interested in carrying out the attack. White says women are usually exploited during their grief, brainwashed, and drugged to carry out suicide bombings for political issues.
"One there is a nationalistic revolt going on there, resistance since czarist Russia, there is also ethnic and religious tension," says the professor. "There are also some who want to blend this in with the so called jihad, which is the wrong use of the term."
Russia has put up what it calls a "ring of steel," an intense security zone intended to prevent or reduce an attack. White says any security that reduces a blast impact could be effective in protecting the public.
"The security people when that happens are the most at risk, because many times the bomber would simply detonate the bomb trying to get to the target than actually getting to the actual target," he says.
White says new research shows most terrorists choose that route because they feel they're not heard.
"Recent research has shown that negotiated ends of terrorism are the most effective ways of ending a terrorist campaign."