Brother of One of St. Petersburg’s Attack Masterminds Arrested

Moscow-The elder brother of the prime St. Petersburg bombing suspect was detained just outside Moscow on Wednesday.

“Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Akram Azimov, born in 1988, was arrested in Odintsovo, outside Moscow,” according to the media communications office of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

“Azimov abetted the transfer of funds, which were used to prepare the terrorist attack, and he helped establish communication channels with emissaries of international terrorist organizations,” the agency said in its statement.

Akram’s younger brother, Abror Azimov, born in 1990, was detained on Monday, with an FSB video of the arrest showing officers overpowering him and stripping him of a gun.

Abror Azimov told a Moscow court Tuesday that he had simply “followed instructions” in carrying out the attack on April 3, but had been unaware he was committing a terrorist act.

“I am not appealing the arrest, but what the investigator said about me admitting guilt is inaccurate,” Abror told the court.

“I was involved, but not directly. I wasn’t aware of what I was doing, I was given commands and I followed them.”

In this matter, the General Directorate for migration, Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia will check the legality of obtaining Russian citizenship by Abror Azimov, said Deputy Head Valentina Kazakova on Wednesday.

Earlier in April, eight people were detained on suspicion of being involved in the St. Petersburg attack, the Russian Investigative Committee said. Six were arrested in St. Petersburg and two others in Moscow.

On the other hand, The Russian counterintelligence agency, the FSB, said Wednesday that its agents have killed two men suspected of planning to carry out terror attacks in Russia.

The FSB said the suspects, both from Central Asia, were killed in a shootout when they resisted arrest in a home in the Vladimir region east of Moscow.

The men, born in 1987 and 1991, “were in contact with recruiters from international terrorist organizations” and “showed interest in techniques for homemade explosive devices and expressed readiness to commit terrorist attacks in Russia,” the FSB said.

In a common matter, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said Wednesday at a meeting in Stavropol that citizens who participated in the fight with terrorist organizations abroad pose a great threat to Russia.

He noted that intelligence agencies identified 66 individuals who recruited people to a terrorist group.

In his report, Patrushev noted that the revealed attempts to form Autonomous, secretive and independent terrorist cells to convert the resonance of the terrorist attacks.

The head of the FSB called on to bring the fight to counter the ideology of terrorism to a qualitatively new level.

He added that for these purposes it would be useful to engage with religious educational institutions.