Moscow, June 17, Interfax - Up to 5,000 Russian citizens may be fighting for the international terrorist organization, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, CIS Antiterrorism Center head Police Lt. Col. Andrey Novikov has said.
"According to the security services, about 2,000 holders of Russian passports are fighting for ISIL. Some experts believe their actual number may near 5,000," Novikov told Interfax in an interview.
In his words, some information concerning these Russian citizens has been confirmed with documentary evidence, and some is still being verified. Security services and law enforcement authorities of all CIS member countries are doing this work, he said.
"We need to apply our agents and technical control means," the CIS Antiterrorism Center head stated.
Federal Security Service First Deputy Director Sergey Smirnov said on April 10, at the end of the Tashkent meeting of the SCO Regional Antiterrorism Structure (RATS) that, to the FSB knowledge, approximately 1,700 people from Russia might be fighting to ISIL. He added that Tajik authorities had learned about 300 Tajik fighters of ISIL.
The CIS Antiterrorism Center databank contains confirmed information about persons who were or are directly involved in the hostilities outside the CIS space, for instance, in Syria and Iraq, on the side of terrorist and extremist organizations and illegal armed units, the CIS Antiterrorism Center head added. "There are 567 persons, excluding those from Russia, on that list. There is information that 61 of them have been killed in the hostilities," Novikov said.