ISIS-linked bomb plot targeting Russian 2018 presidential election foiled – FSB

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has foiled the plot of a terrorist group which planned to bomb New Year celebrations. The group also reportedly intended to target the March presidential election. Russia’s security services thwarted terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, that were to occur during the presidential election campaign and New Year holidays, FSB Director and head of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee Aleksandr Bortnikov said on Monday. The bombings were planned by members of an ISIS-affiliated group, a separate statement by the FSB press service said. Three nationals of Central Asian countries were arrested, and two AK-47 assault rifles, two improvised bombs and other explosive materials were seized during the operation.The FSB eliminated the terrorist group and “confiscated improvised explosive devices from the terrorists, destroyed firearms and ammunition found in their laboratory for the manufacture of terror arsenal,” Bortnikov said at the meeting of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee. Some 78 militants and their accomplices were neutralized and more than 1,000 suspects were detained in Russia in 2017, according to the FSB chief. More than 17,500 foreigners suspected of involvement in terrorist activities were barred from entering Russia. The security services managed to foil more than 60 terrorism-related plots, including 18 attacks, in 2017 alone. Terrorist groups, including international organizations, attempted to create bases in several Russian regions. Bortnikov warned that the terrorist threat is especially high as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants are returning to their home countries and seeking to continue their activities after the liberation of Syria. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of troops from the country, after assisting the Syrian government forces in the fight against jihadists.

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