ISIS, Al-Nusra recruiters arrested as Putin underscores terrorist threat

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April 5, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

Six immigrants from Central Asia have been arrested in Saint Petersburg for aiding terrorist activity, Russia’s Investigative Committee has announced. The operation involved officers of the Investigative Committee, the police, the FSB, and special forces of the Russian National Guard. 

According to the investigation, the suspects recruited immigrants from the republics of Central Asia in Saint Petersburg to join terrorist organizations such as Jebat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State, which are banned in Russia.

The suspects’ homes are currently being searched, where investigators have seized Islamic extremist literature and items and documents relevant to the criminal investigation.

However, the Investigative Committee said that there is currently no evidence on links or acquaintance between those detained and the perpetrator of the Saint Petersburg metro bombing.

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These arrests come on the heels of the April 3rd explosion in the Saint Petersburg metro between the Sennaya Square and Technological Institute-2 stations. Another bomb detonation at Vosstaniya Square station was thwarted. The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on the incident as an act of terror, but is also checking other scenarios. According to the latest data, 14 people were killed and 49 hospitalized by the explosion.

Meanwhile, at today’s meeting of the heads of the security and intelligence services of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Saint Petersburg metro bombing confirms that the situation with the terror threat is not improving, and that all CIS countries are potential targets of terrorist acts. 

“We see that the situation is, unfortunately, not improving. The best evidence of this are the recent tragic events in Saint Petersburg. As a result of a terrorist act, people were killed and there were many victims. We know that all of our countries, virtually every one, is a potential target for terrorist attacks. There are many other threats to our countries as well,” Putin said.

President Putin went on to emphasize that close coordination between intelligence/security agencies is needed: “In order to effectively combat international terrorism and extremism and to solve other issues related to ensuring peace and security, close coordination in the work of security services is needed. Clear, coherent cooperation and the timely exchange of operational and analytical information can confront modern threats on the Commonwealth’s space.”

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Putin also added that in the 25 years of action of the agreement on principles of cooperation between CIS countries’ intelligence services, their partnership has been stable, productive, and actually proven its usefulness and relevance. 

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