Nightly News   |  December 31, 2013

Police Name Suspect in Russia Train Station Bombing

Russian Pavel Pechyonkin, a 26-year-old former paramedic who allegedly converted to radical Islam in 2011, has been named by police as a suspect in the first bombing that hit Volgograd’s train station. NBC’s Jim Maceda reports.

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>>> overseas, russian president vladimir putin promised a forceful crackdown on terrorists after a suicide bomber killed more than 30 people, raising concerns about sochi as the winter olympics approaches. abc's jim maceda has more.

>> reporter: hi, erika, well, as police offered up a suspect in the bombings, the latest violence was worrying the olympic athletes in the u.s. by the thousands, the russian police swept through the coffee shops and markets overnight. hunting for the accomplices in the suicide blasts that killed at least 34, dozens of people were detained, although any connection to the bombings were not clear. putin showed a strong force . we'll confidently and fiercely continue the fight against terrorists until they are gone. police now say they have identified a suspect in the first bombing, the one that hit volgograd's train station , although they have yet to find evidence. the paramedic, who allegedly converted to radical islam in 2011 . the russian and foreign media reports posted this report to their son, fearing he joined armed insurgents. come home, his mother pled. we see how many people die because of people like you. don't harm people, said his father. no matter what their religion. but in a video of his own, pavel told his parents he had made his choice. it is not easy to go this way, the way of jihad, he said, but allah makes us strong. with the sochi games just weeks away, the bombings have gotten the attention of the u.s. athletes.

>> once you hear it, it hits you, these things happen. and you kind of worry about it. but bad things happen every day. there is -- you know, some things you just can't control.

>> reporter: the head of the u.s. olympic committee today said he had never seen anything like it.

>> this is the first time we have had an incident so close to the games both in terms of geography and in terms of time.

>> reporter: but here in sochi , the partiers say they're not worried. some fear the claim could be tested here very soon.

>> jim maceda tonight, thank you.