Moscow, December 22, Interfax - The number of militants of Islamic State (ISIL, a terrorist organization banned in Russia) has sharply increased since 2014 because of the growing scale of drug trafficking in the Middle East, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov told the State Anti-Drug Committee on Tuesday.
"Since 2014 there has been a rise of Islamic State and a sharp increase in its numbers, four times as many. What is remarkable is that the increased numbers of ISIL members correspond to the annual growth of the scale of drug trafficking in the Middle East, which in turn is being proved by the increase in heroin seizures in the region," Ivanov said.
Afghan heroin transit is a renewable financial base for international terrorist organizations, in particular, for Islamic State, he said.
"Thus, the cumulative buildup of negative effects of Afghan drug production has become a core factor in global destabilization, a generator of pockets of extremism, organized crime and terrorism," Ivanov said.