Nightly News   |  January 22, 2014

Russia Promises Heavy Security During Olympics

NBC News’ Richard Engel reports from inside the difficult-to-reach Coastal Cluster in Sochi.

Share This:

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

>>> good evening, all those warnings about security and fears of a terrorist attack appear to be taking something of a toll tonight, with 16 days to go now until the opening ceremony of the winter olympics games in sochi , russia , while the modern olympics are a relatively television event and few get to attend the games in person, those who will attend, ranging from athletes to families and media and spectators are watching it closely as russia continues to put a heavily defended fortress around the games. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel has more from sochi .

>> reporter: good evening, brian, now we're inside that fortress, inside the ring of steel around sochi . today, the u.s. olympic committee said they did receive a warning by e-mail, warning the athletes not to come here. the threat, however, is not considered credible. but it is getting some attention because there are real security concerns. security in sochi is out in full force . looking for trouble, before it happens. and hidden in the mountains, the russian army has deployed artillery and rockets to shoot down a 9/11-style attack. in public, russian officials have expressed nothing but confidence. but they may be more concerned than they let on. otherwise, why the discussions at high-level u.s. russia meetings about lending moscow high-tech american equipment to stop remotely detonated bombs. but it is too late for that. u.s. military officials tell nbc news they don't have enough time to install the anti-bomb technology before the games. so what exactly are the russians trying to protect? the olympic gamings are spread out in two areas, around the black sea , built around the tight circle on the stadiums for the opening ceremony , ice hockey nearby, nearby is the athlete's village, the area is connected to a train station and airport. 30 miles away up a winding road is a mountain cluster, where the skiing events are spread out over slopes and valleys. we're now inside the coastal cluster, the park of olympic stadiums and it is not easy to get here. it took us two hours of having our bags checked and x-rayed. you can't go anywhere without a badge. we've seen police carrying portable weapon detectors. the area certainly feels tightly controlled. still, all the talk about security has some american athletes and their families worried. this free styler is coming but is worried.

>> i don't get a lot of confidence from the u.s. government . they seem like they question whether or not the russians have a handle on this or not.

>> reporter: family members of other athletes have said they are cancelling, in part because of security. brian?

>> richard engel starting off our coverage from sochi , thank you,