Terror Attacks Hit Russia Leading Into 2014 Winter Olympics

Suicide bombers attack a train station and a trolleybus in the city of Volgograd.
3:00 | 12/30/13

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Transcript for Terror Attacks Hit Russia Leading Into 2014 Winter Olympics
This is a special room. I'm -- company or where this ABC news digital special report less than 24 hours after seventeen people were killed by a suicide bomber in -- -- central train station. -- brought in southern Russia has been hit again fourteen now dead after an explosion aboard a trolley bus. And all of this just less than forty days until the 2014 winter games begin in nearby Sochi. The latest now but ABC's Karen -- in Washington Karen. Good afternoon -- the International Olympic Committee president issued a statement just moments ago he called these attacks despicable. And said he's confident that all security measures will be taken into account to protect the athletes and participants in February's games but. -- these attacks are sparking major concerns. Chaos and carnage in the Russian city of bold move brought today a suicide attack on a -- trolley bus during the morning commute. Killed at least fourteen people more than two dozen injured in an enemy alien Priscilla. People -- their lives. Gripped by a blast and people who were -- -- we -- screening two days to bombing. And attacked yesterday at the -- train station killed and dozens more were injured. Train station is one of the busiest in Russia it was packed holiday travelers. So they moved. But there were bodies everywhere this morning said -- inside the train station at present is destroy them. This suicide attacks are raising fears all over the world. February's Winter Olympics will take place about 400 miles away in Sochi. The city in the heart of the north caucuses region wracked by terrorist attacks by Islamist insurgents. President Vladimir Putin's -- the -- -- Olympics in history. But there are now significant security concerns five months ago the leader an Islamist nationalist group vowed to disrupt -- -- -- if the games aren't attacked there will be attempts to attack either the transit routes into these games. Or particular venues on the outline -- outlying areas -- events will be spread out across multiple venues indoor and outdoor. There will be a massive security presence but there will be -- challenges. Lot of soft targets lot of opportunities. Russian officials say they're stepping up security all across the country as they try to reassure anxious people there and all over the world. Karen Travers ABC news Washington. Our Karen thank you for that for more on the investigation and of course the international attention that this has been getting a wanna bring -- ABC's Alex mark mark who is in London Alex. Has anyone claimed responsibility for these attacks. Good afternoon -- no one's claimed responsibility yet the Russians haven't said who they suspect they haven't even. Given out -- sexes. Of the attackers from yesterday and today at first it was initially reported that a female suicide bomber had carried out yesterday's attack. At the -- regret train station which killed seventeen people. All signs would point to Islamist separatists from the north caucuses which is that restive region in southern Russia where. Almost on a daily weekly monthly basis we do see regular attacks suicide bombings other types of bombings against. A government infrastructure but rarely do they go beyond -- the confines. Of those southern provinces and that's what's so surprising is that now not only have we seen one but two attacks in Volgograd one of Russia's. Biggest cities so. Even though they haven't released the names of of of any sort of suspects who carried -- the attacks or the group that they suspect of being behind it you can certainly be sure that they are. Investigating closely and looking specifically act. The organization of a man named -- whom are off who. -- Karen -- -- referenced in her piece there he runs a large umbrella group called the Caucasus emirate. Which essentially is an an Islamist insurgency. Whose goal is to get those provinces in the south in the northern caucuses to break away from. From Russia and and the focus of a lot of previous attacks event obviously on government interest but now that's clearly being a transportation based. Effort. Russia's president -- signed a new more stringent anti terror along with that with a focus on separatism so what are the penalties now going forward. Well this is this is something that you know Russia is keenly aware president's Putin is keenly aware of the fact. That these attacks and and previous that fears. Are going to create bigger concerns in the lead up. To the Olympics so what his goal was -- these new anti terrorism laws was to assuage some of those fears make the penalties. Even harsher so what essentially has been done is that it is -- he approved this law that would penalize family members that would. The force family members of of terrorists -- are alleged terrorists to a pay compensation. To victims there would pay compensation. For property as well as confiscating. A property of of those accused terrorists so that is their fear now that there will be an even stronger more violent backlash because of that. Well absolutely and that that's what the response would be is that -- in light of the crackdown by the Kremlin -- by President Putin and his security forces that that will only. Further anger. The local population in Chechnya Dagestan Ingushetia those provinces. In the southern part of Russia on the north caucuses. So there certainly could be some some backlash that that. Did you know that the -- the instigation the the use of these anti terrorism laws -- fuel that anger and and insights. Terrorists to come out and an attack targets well beyond the confines of those provinces in to places like boulder grad -- to places like Moscow and of course. The big juicy target if you will is the Sochi games. And that's our want to talk a little bit about that specifically because the -- that the focus of these kind of attacks is certainly shifted a great deal -- brought Sochi further south there. Obviously is surrounded by those former Soviet nations and at home to a lot of those separatist groups so. The Olympics now really is is is that the core focus and as they've been looking at those trolleys at these transportation hubs is that. The is that the -- the intention. Well absolutely because if you look had to be tax -- we've seen in Volgograd one against the train station one against a trolley these are very soft targets. All of though the people -- been killed have been civilians. As I mentioned -- had been you know this is a rare attack that has taken place. Beyond the north caucuses this is the third. And in three months two and a row over the past two days and -- and then one or October so what. These groups these these insurgents are showing is that they can go well beyond that they can go into a place like -- -- which isn't necessarily used to these kinds of attacks. In 2011 we saw an attack against -- Moscow airport in 2010 when I was living in Moscow I covered a double suicide bombing in the metro. In mosque in one of the Moscow's main station so. That's what they're showing is we can go beyond the north caucuses we can attack. Did did -- games in Sochi which of course you know. Generally when these attacks happen. It is in the north caucuses it doesn't get much attention because it's very localized and it's a place where this stuff happens all the time. But now you're talking about. Increasing fears that a deadly strike could take place when the entire world is watching in just a few weeks were in Russia and the Olympic -- planning committee have been very -- and in fact security is our number one focus on this. I think take any additional measures given the past 24 hours -- they asked actually for for international help. While I'm just speculating here but I can imagine there's a lot of frustration in the Kremlin right now that everybody's talking about the link. With the Olympics because this is this is. President Putin's pet project -- has taken every precaution necessary to make sure. That nothing happens during the Olympic Games so they have raised security. Regionally around Volgograd two what they called the yellow level which is the second highest level as Karen Travers mentioned in her piece they have. Imposed a new security measures around the country particularly at airports and railway stations. But the head of the Russian Olympic Committee came out and said that nothing has changed for the Olympics they've said from the get go President Putin has set himself. But these will be the safest Olympic Games in history and -- that these attacks in Volgograd over the past two days won't change anything for the Sochi games -- Explain to me a little bit about the geographic significance if it gets a lot of Americans noble look rod -- by its previous name Stalin grunt. What is the significance of the city -- mean beyond the these current disputes. Well absolutely so what what be what the intention. Apparently was was for these groups. To come out of the northern caucuses which is where we're we're guessing that -- from if you look at. The attack that took place in -- regret in October. On a bus that killed six people it was a woman who carried out a suicide attack she was from Dagestan. Most of the attackers that we've seen have come out of three main provinces. In the north Caucasus Ingushetia. Chechnya and Dagestan which incidentally was where the two bombers were from. At the Boston Marathon and so. The what they're trying to show is that you know this we can strike anywhere Volgograd is a city of one million people it's Russia's fifth largest city. They struck a train station which is one of the busiest in Russia because it connects southern Russia -- northern Russia yet. -- -- veins of of of train of railways coming in from all over the country. And so what they're saying is is we can strike at the heart. Of of -- of of you know of Russia essentially. At a time I should mention. Right before the new year of course in the states and Europe New Year's Eve is a huge holiday but takes on added significance -- Russia because. It's it's essentially. Christmas new year a real family holiday all rolled into one so that transition was especially busy -- and so that's that the message that they were trying to convey weakened strike in a major city beyond our reporters at a very busy time less -- -- let you -- you brought the Boston Marathon bombing given that kind of US connection. Have you gotten any indication that US authorities might be joining in this investigation on either of those attacks. Not just -- you have to imagine that they are watching extremely closely and trading information as we know they did in the wake. Of the Boston Marathon bombings but there's been no indication that. There will be American law enforcement on the grounds. Now or or at the at this Sochi games. As I mention -- -- Russia has long said that that this will be the safest Olympic Games in history so they're pulling out all the stops. Sochi will be -- surrounded and flooded with all sorts of security whether it's police paramilitary. And military so you have to imagine that they are really taking all precautions and and and so far they haven't invited any sort of outside help. Forty days ago and a lot of work to be done ABC's -- court in London -- thank you -- that we certainly appreciate that. Of course we have a complete recap right here on abcnews.com. For non Dan -- their New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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