Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that some 7,000 people from a bloc of post-Soviet nations that includes Russia are fighting for the extremist group Islamic State in the Middle East.
Speaking at a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) held in Kazakhstan Putin, said “we cannot allow them to come to our home and use the experience they are currently acquiring in Syria.”
He called for increased security collaboration within the bloc, which links all the former Soviet republics besides Georgia and the Baltics.
Moscow had previously estimated that about 2,400 Russian citizens fight for Islamic State as it continues to struggle with homegrown Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus Mountain regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.
On Sunday, police in Moscow said they detained 10 suspected terrorists during a raid of a downtown apartment that contained five kilogrammes of explosives.
According to a police report, several of the suspects are trained by Islamic State in Syria.
In a related development, authorities in Berlin said they arrested a 30-year-old Russian imam from Dagestan on suspicion that he sought to recruit fighters for Islamic State.
It would be recalled that Russia began a bombing campaign against Islamic State and other militant forces in war-torn Syria late last month. (dpa/NAN)