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Russian Security Forces Arrest ISIS Sleeper Cell in Caucasus | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a terrestrial globe presented him as a gift in Tver region, Russia, on Friday. Mikhail Klimentyev, AP

Moscow- Russian security forces announced making several arrests against terrorists suspected of recruiting ISIS members, and most of which have pledged allegiance to the hardline group and were planning to travel to Syria to fight among ISIS ranks.

Officers of the Russian Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB) have arrested supporters of the international terrorist organization, the ISIS in Tver, central Russia, and Nazran, Ingushetia in the North Caucasus, Russian Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Irina Volk told TASS on Tuesday.

“Tver police and federal officers from the regional FSB have apprehended a clandestine terrorist cell, whose members were engaged in recruiting Central Asian nationals into international terrorist organizations, including those active in Syria,” the police spokeswoman said.

According to Volk, detectives surveilling the terror group unveiled a hideout in Tver, basically the suspects’ apartment, where the cell’s covert meetings took place. Numerous amounts of extremist material were seized during the search.

“In Ingushetia, law enforcement agents arrested two residents of the Ekazhevo village in the Nazran district. Those young people joined the ISIS ranks using social media and were going to travel to Syria in the near future to join the fighting on the side of the terrorists”, the Interior Ministry spokeswoman said.

Investigators have charged all suspects with violating Article 205.5, part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code: the charge is participating in a terrorist organization.

Should the convicts be trialed and convicted, the sentences range between five to ten years according to Russian law.

It is worth mentioning that the arrests are seen to be of a precautionary tactic used by Russian forces to counter terrorism. The Russian approach tends to pivot on cradle-kill methods.

Russia’s security body has been able to make early arrests, aborting terrorist activity. However, most detentions were made against suspects solely.