The Federal Security Service (FSB) prevented terrorist attacks involving unmanned aerial vehicles during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov told the 17th meeting of the heads of special services, security agencies and law enforcement bodies on November 7.
The FSB Head stated that security services had eliminated 7 groups, which were planning attacks on foreign footbal fans in Russia. Bortnikov provided no additional details, but stated that such attempts of such terrorist attacks had taken place not only during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but also during other mass events.
According to Bortnikov, security services have unconvered 38 ISIS cells, whose members were recruiting militants, since the start of the year.
“In cooperation with foreign counterparts, 70 cells of international terrorist organizations, including 38 ISIL [ISIS] cells, which recruited young people from Russia and CIS [the Commonwealth of Independent States] countries and transported them to militant training camps, have been uncovered in 24 regions of our country in 2018,” he said. “A total of 777 active members and abettors of international terrorist organizations, including 36 leaders, have been detained.”
Bortnikov noted that “the Middle East, Afghanistan, South and Southeast Asia and the African Continent remain major terrorist hotspots”.
“Terrorists still chiefly target countries with weakened governance structures, vast hardly controlled territories, sharp confessional or ethnic contingencies and a high level of poverty and unemployment,” the FSB Head stated adding that and Southeast Asia and the African Continent remain major terrorist hotspots,” he stressed the imminent liquidation of the remaining terror flashpoints in Syria and Iraq forces foreign mercenaries leave these zones returning to their countries or create new sources of instability.