2015-06-16 11:34:00

Over 200 Volga Region residents fighting for ISIL in Syria, Iraq - FSB Director (updated)

Moscow, June 16, Interfax - More than 200 residents of the Volga Region are fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq, Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov has said.

"We have been observing recruitment of Russian citizens by ISIL in the Volga Federal District. Reportedly, over 200 residents of the Volga Region are fighting for the Islamists in Syria and Iraq," Bortnikov said on Tuesday, at a joint meeting of the National Antiterrorism Committee and the Federal Operative Staff dedicated to the activity of antiterrorism commissions and operative staffs in constituent territories of the Volga Federal District.

Two followers "of the aforesaid international terrorist organization who planned a high-profile terror attack at a chemical arms storage depot and scrapping plant in the Kirov Region" were sentenced to eleven and twelve years in custody, respectively, in October of last year, the FSB director said.

Another threat is the illegal turnover of armaments and ammunition, which may be used in terror attacks amongst other felonies, Bortnikov said.

"In 2014, the police found seven arms and ammo caches in the district and seized seven handmade bombs, 8.5 kilograms of explosives, 148 pieces of firearms, 258 grenades and over 16,000 rounds," the FSB director said.

"Against this backdrop, the security of international events due to be held in a number of constituent territories of the Volga Federal District this summer has great importance," he noted.

2015 European Athletics Team Championships will begin in Cheboksary in three days, the SCO Council of Chiefs of State will converge in Ufa on July 9-10, and the leaders of SCO and BRICS member countries will have a meeting. Kazan will play host to 2015 World Aquatics Championships in the period from July 24 through August 16.

It is necessary to assess the preparedness of law enforcement agencies and the authorities for the protection of the upcoming events and to plan additional measures in the prevention of terror attacks, Bortnikov said.