Nightly News   |  January 21, 2014

Sochi Terror Threat Bypasses Previous Olympics

Recurring terror attacks in Russia and a history of mutual suspicion between the U.S. and Russia have led to big concerns about the safety of the Sochi games.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as we mentioned, the safety of american athletes and other visitors at the sochi games is a matter of growing concern for the u.s. government . for more on the security question and what role the u.s. might play in all of it, nbc's andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom. andrea, good evening.

>> good evening. tonight that call between president obama and vladimir putin shows how high the concern is about the safety of the sochi games. as sochi is locked down, the terror threat is higher than for any previous olympics, even worse than beijing, where there was little security cooperation with the u.s. first because of the recurring terror attacks in russia .

>> the threat level in sochi is so much higher than china, it's difficult to compare the two.

>> reporter: as seen after the boston marathon bombing, a history of mutual suspicion between russian security officials. would vladimir putin even ask the u.s. for help?

>> certainly his long past history, history with the united states , make any likelihood of request before the games or after a strike far less likely in this case.

>> reporter: fbi agents will be there to protect the u.s. delegations. two u.s. war ships will be placed in the black sea in case americans need to be evacuated.

>> there's too much bad blood, there's too much mistrust between the security services for them to link arms and say, we're going to work on this together.

>> reporter: russia 's top general asked joint chief's chairman martin zdempsey for sophisticated sensors to detect bombs in sochi . if they are sent, u.s. military personnel would have to go along and run them.

>> i would not go. and i don't think i would send my family.

>> reporter: most u.s. team members like snowboarder kelly clark are not worried.

>> i'm not worried about any safety issues in russia at this point. and, you know, we're so focuses on our competition and on our sport.

>> reporter: the state department has issued a travel warning for americans going to russia . as president obama and vladimir putin now try to find ways to avert potential trouble.

>> andrea mitchell in our d.c.