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Russia’s president signs law toughening terrorist recruitment sentences

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with top officials from the Federation Council and the State Duma at the Kremlin in Moscow on December 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially approved a bill toughening punishment for the recruitment of terrorists amid fears of the return of defeated Takfiri militants from Syria.

The approval came two days after a bomb blast in a busy supermarket in Russia’s second-largest city, Saint Petersburg, which left 14 people wounded.

The law immediately raises the maximum sentence for the recruitment and financing of terrorists from 10 years to life.

Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed the new law on December 14 and the upper chamber approved it on December 26.

Since September 2015, Moscow has been carrying out an aerial bombardment campaign against the positions of extremist militants in Syria on an official request from the Damascus government.

Putin ordered Russian forces to begin withdrawing from Syria during a surprise visit to the war-ravaged country on December 11, as he declared victory over the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group there.

A day later, Russia’s FSB security service said former militants in Syria were now a real threat after the defeat of Daesh, as many of them may be planning to return to Russia.

Putin declared that the Wednesday attack was “a terrorist act,” warning armed criminals they could be "liquidated on the spot."

Russia announced on December 15 that it had dismantled a cell of Daesh in Saint Petersburg that was planning to carry out imminent terror attacks in the northern city.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement that the Daesh supporters "planned to commit attacks on December 16."

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