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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

January 22nd, 2014
05:19 PM ET

Former CIA op.: Group threatening terror at Sochi Olympics 'more determined' than al Qaeda

(CNN) - Reports of terror threats against the Winter Olympics have many people wondering: Is it safe to go to Sochi?

Asked if there is a real terror threat and whether people should be worried, CNN national security analyst and former CIA operative Bob Baer said "Absolutely."

"American citizens are at risk in Russia either in the North Caucasus, in Sochi, Moscow, St. Petersburg. This group, mainly led by Chechens, is formidable," said Baer, referring to the group threatening to disrupt the Olympics.

"They're militarily trained. They're able to hit. They've got access to explosives. They said they're going to hit and they usually follow through," said Baer.

The group, which mainly operates out of the Caucasus region, are the "best in the world," and are "more determined" than al Qaeda, said the former CIA operative.

"They've got a bottomless pool of willing suicide bombers. They can get to missiles. They can blow up infrastructure. They are very, very good," said Baer. "People like the Chechens in particular worry me more than anybody in the world."

The United States has expressed concern about the degree of cooperation between Washington and Moscow. Members of Congress and other officials say Russia is not sharing enough intelligence.

"I sat across the table with Russians for years, very friendly, but they just never give up anything, especially when it involves their internal security," said Baer.

The Russians are very good at gathering intelligence and will do everything they can to protect Americans, said the former CIA operative. "But they're not going to share information with the CIA or the FBI on the threat."

For more of our interview with Bob Baer check out the video above.

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