Russian Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry personnel uncovered ISIS terrorist cells in 17 regions throughout the country in 2019 alone, the head of the Main Directorate for Combating Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Major-General of the Police Oleg Ilinykh announced on September 17th.
According to him, the activities of members of the ISIS terrorist group were stopped in Moscow and the Moscow Region, as well as Astrakhan, Vladimir, Rostov, Samara, Saratov, Tyumen, Krasnodar, Stavropol, Krasnoyarsk, Adygea, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya, as well as in the Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts.
In the first six months of 2019, departments revealed 972 crimes related to terrorism, he added.
In August, FSB officers detained militants preparing terrorist attacks in Kabardino-Balkaria and Kaluga.
In Kabardino-Balkaria, a terrorist acted alone and did not confess to any connections with any terrorist organizations during his arrest. In the forest, his cache was found with ready-made improvised explosives. Later it turned out that the detainee was already tried for terrorism.
In the Kaluga region, attacks were prepared by six natives of the countries of Central Asia. It was established that they were transferring money to Syria.
In June, the FSB department in the Rostov Region reported that since the beginning of 2019, more than 50 ISIS members have been identified in the Southern Federal District (SFD).
Most recently, on September 18th, in Dagestan, law enforcement officials detained an ISIS militant, the press service of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.
“Today, during the operational-search measures by the FSB of Russia in the forest massif of the Tarumovsky district of Dagestan, a Russian citizen born in 2000 was detained while trying to remove a large-capacity improvised explosive device from the cache,” the press service announced.
The committee added that the detainee joined the ISIS in August 2019. The gunman planned terrorist attacks against law enforcement officers and local authorities.
Most extremist crimes in Russia are committed on the Internet, in 2018 they accounted for about 80% of the total number of such crimes, Ilinykh said.
“And on the whole, targeted preventive work on the Internet is necessary, since analysis of extremist crime shows that most of the acts of this category are related to public calls for extremist activities, as well as incitement of hatred or enmity through the World Wide Web. For example, last year they amounted to 80 percent of all such crimes,” he explained.
As an example of the need for such preventive work, the representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs cited the preventive work carried out with adolescents and young people who were followers of a “destructive ideology.”
“In April 2019, employees of the centers for countering extremism of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia of the Smolensk Region carried out preventive work with followers of destructive ideology born in 2000-2005, who, being students of various educational institutions, posted provocative posts on popular social networks, idealized and justified the events of 20 years ago, when on April 20th, 1999, two students at Columbine School in the United States carried out a mass shooting,” Ilinykh said.
According to the head of the Main Directorate for Combating Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, most of these people will learn about radical ideology through sites and groups on social networks.
“As practice shows, for most of these individuals, radical ideas were introduced into consciousness through thematic Internet sites, which, in turn, began to actively form so-called like-minded network groups around themselves, propagating and spreading a destructive ideology. They drag teenagers into closed groups in social networks under any pretext (invitation to the “brotherhood”, “community”, possible rewards, bonuses, likes and the like),” Ilyinykh said.
Activities in combating extremism in Russia is on-going and appear to be largely successful so far.
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