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Russia busts Daesh cell planning Moscow attacks

The undated photo shows the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alpha Spetsnaz unit during an anti-terrorism maneuver.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has dismantled a Daesh Takfiri terror cell reportedly planning to execute "high-profile" terrorist attacks in Moscow.

The FSB announced the arrests on Friday by releasing a report stating that the terrorists arrested in the Moscow region were guided by Syria-based agents originating from Central Asia, adding that “the detained persons planned to carry out high-profile terrorist attacks in Moscow, using both firearms and improvised explosive devices. Automatic firearms had been confiscated during searches, as well as money, communication means, reports about preparations for terrorist attacks, and a manual for putting together homemade explosive devices.”

The FSB further claimed the group had also taken part in “serious crimes” in order to fund its activities, alongside resources it had already received from abroad, further detailing that "the cell members took every possible effort to keep their activities secret and avoid drawing the attention of law enforcement agencies."

Russia has witnessed terrorist attacks by numerous separatist and extremist groups in the past. The emergence of Daesh, nevertheless, encouraged many extremist elements in Russia to join the group and fight among its ranks in Syria and Iraq.

Observers believe one of Russia’s objectives in intervening against Daesh in Syria is to prevent a potential spillover of the violence into Russian regions known to be prone to terrorist activities. Moscow’s effective anti-terrorist strikes against the terrorist group have, however, also further compelled Daesh to harm Russian interests.

The terrorist organization has since threatened and carried out a number of attacks in Russia, notably threatening to target the FIFA World Cup 2018 tournament held in the country.

Moreover, the October 2015 bombing of the Metrojet Flight 9268 heading from Egypt to Saint Petersburg is known to be the deadliest attack on Russian interests. All the plane’s 224 passengers and crew were killed.

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