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

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February 7th, 2014
05:33 PM ET

Counter-terrorism expert: Terrorists near Sochi have taken planes down before

(CNN) – A passenger announced Friday "that there was a bomb on board" his plane and wanted it diverted to Sochi – the Russian city hosting the Winter Olympics amid terrorism fears – Turkish officials said.

But a former national security adviser says the attempted hijack likely did not stem from an organized group.

"This guy may be deranged, may be trying to get attention," said Juan Zarate, former White House deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism from 2005 to 2009. Zarate is now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

But there is heightened concern about air traffic for good reason.

"These terrorists in particular from the Caucasus have demonstrated an ability to target airplanes in the past, and that's why there's such so much sensitivity. They brought down Russian airlines twice before in 2004," said Zarate.

The Caucasus is just a few hundred miles away from the Sochi Olympics.

For more of our interview with the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Juan Zarate, check out the video above.
Much.

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