TODAY

TODAY   |  January 27, 2014

Olympic flame arrives in volatile Russian region

Amid tensions over the threat of terrorism at the Olympic Winter Games, the Olympic torch arrived in Russia’s volatile Dagestan region under heavy security and was run through a reduced route. NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel reports.

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>> where overnight security concerns forced the organizers of the olympic torch relay to reroute the flame's path. let's get to richard engel in russia 's dangerous dagestan region. richard, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. for days, we've been talking about the terror threat to the games. well, the threat comes from here, from dagestan and other parts of the north caucuses. and today, the olympic flame passed through.

>> reporter: the olympic torch made the most dangerous stop today, to the russian republic of dagestan . but threats of terrorism dramatically curtailed the traditional relay. so organizers invited a few thousand spectators to a soccer stadium to watch the torch do laps around the field, a contained event, under heavy guard. a torch relay to nowhere. islamic militants from dagestan have repeatedly threatened the torch, the olympic games and foreign tourists. for the militants, they are a chance to publicly and painfully strike back at russia for its commando operations. like this one just over a week ago. when police and special forces assaulted a suspected islamic militant hideout in the capital. police say seven suspected terrorists were killed in this house. and there are raids like this one almost every day in dagestan . this is russia 's secret war that extremists say they want to bring to sochi.

>> a neighbor showed us where 1/2 dozen russian troops took position in the house.

>> the floor is covered in bullet casings and fired out the window. dagestan is a war zone that would normally have nothing to do with the olympics but suddenly does because russia 's the host and they're being held nearby. on the weekend talk shows, questions were raised about the safety of american athletes.

>> i cannot give them 100% guarantee. the fact is, these are going to be very much threatened olympics.

>> reporter: today the russian intelligence says it does not believe a female suicide bomber has made her way into sochi as police had previously warned. savannah.