Daesh cell busted in Moscow, members arrested
Russia has busted a major cell of the Daesh terrorist group in the capital, Moscow.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement on Thursday that four members of the terror cell, who were preparing a series of attacks in Moscow, had been arrested earlier in the day during raids by security forces.
“The militants were preparing the terrorist attacks on direct orders of a Turkey-based emissary” of Daesh, who has been put on an international wanted list by Tajikistan, the statement said, without elaborating on the identity of the Tajik suspect in question.
The FSB said the four detained members of the terrorist group were citizens of Tajikistan and Moldova, adding that they were “planning to carry out a series of high-profile terrorist attacks in Moscow using powerful homemade explosive devices.”
The operation began early on Thursday with Russian special forces cordoning off a block of apartments in southern Moscow.
Firearms, ammunition and homemade explosive devices were recovered from the apartments, where the suspects had been living. The FSB said its forces also managed to seize “a large amount of explosive blend material for making a high-energy explosive device.”
Russia has been a target of Daesh attacks since the country’s military began a campaign in Syria in late September 2015 to assist the Arab country in the fight against terrorism at the official request of the Damascus government. Russia said before the beginning of the attacks that the military campaign was also aimed at blocking the return of its nationals who have been fighting along the ranks of militant groups in Syria over the past years.
The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday stressed the threat posed to Russia’s security by the nationals involved in Syria’s militancy, saying more than 2,000 militants from Russia and other former Soviet republics had been killed in Syria last year.