MOSCOW: Less than two weeks after Russia carried out its first airstrikes on Syria, Russian officials announced that they have foiled a terrorist plot, detaining men trained in Syria by the Islamic State group.
Russia’s counterterrorism agency on Sunday raided a Moscow apartment and arrested several Russians who allegedly were preparing to carry out an attack in the capital. The FSB intelligence agency said in a statement on Monday that an improvised explosive device with five kilos (11 pounds) of unidentified explosives was found in that apartment.
The FSB said several men were detained, including two who said they had been trained by Islamic State militants and were plotting a terrorist attack on Moscow’s public transport.
Authorities did not say how many people were detained but said “between six and 11 people” frequented the apartment. The men had arrived in Moscow “well before” Russia began carrying out airstrikes in Syria, the FSB said.
More than 100 residents of the apartment building in western Moscow were evacuated during Sunday’s raid and supplies of natural gas were cut off for the duration.
Russia’s airstrikes in Syria have been met by warnings that they encourage Islamic extremists to turn their sights on Russia and make it easier for them to recruit Russian Muslims.
Russia says 2,400 of its citizens have joined the Islamic State group.