2009-02-10 14:06:00

Russia has more than 80 radical Islamic groups

Moscow, February 10, Interfax - Russia has more than 80 international extremist groups propagating radical Islam, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said.

" Organized criminal groups purposefully attach inter-ethnic features to common criminal fighting," Nurgaliyev added in the interview to Nezavisimaya Gazeta published on Tuesday.

The number of extremist crimes has been growing, he said.

The number of members of various radical groups including nationalistic groups and football fans reached 200,000, he said. About 10,000 people who have committed various extremist offenses are on record, the Minister said.

"We remember inter-ethnic conflicts in Kondopoga, Salsk, Venyov, Khanty-Mansiisk and other towns. The fight against extremism has become a priority for the Interior Ministry. Given the seriousness of the problem, we have created a special Department for Fighting Extremism," Nurgaliyev said.