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Russia arrests four Daesh-linked suspects for terror plot

Russian security forces have detained four members of a terrorist network linked to the Daesh Takfiri group who were preparing to attack the public transport system in Moscow.

“The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) detained four members of a terrorist group that consists of citizens of Russia and countries of the Central Asian region on May 25, 2017 in Moscow. They were preparing terrorist attacks on Moscow transport infrastructure using improvised explosive devices,” the FSB said in a statement.

The group was part of Daesh and was organized from Syria, the statement added.

The Russian security forces also found an explosives production laboratory during their search at the suspects’ houses.

“An explosives production laboratory, a ready-to-use improvised explosive device with shrapnel and components for its production have been found during searches,” the FSB said.

The FSB said it also found “automatic firearms, ammunition, grenades, as well as literature and videos of extremist and terrorist orientation.”

According to the statement, the terrorists planned to go to Syria and fight alongside Daesh militants after conducting the attacks in Moscow.

In April, the FSB arrested several people for their alleged role in a bomb attack at the St. Petersburg Metro on April 3 which killed 16 people and injured dozens of others.

This photo shows the damaged train carriage at Technological Institute metro station in St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

On May 11, Russian prosecutors charged three of the suspects with involvement in a “terrorist act.”

Russia’s Investigative Committee added that seven other suspects will be charged in the near future.

A group suspected of links to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the bombing was a response to Russia’s involvement in the war against militants, apparently making a reference to Moscow’s campaign against terrorists in Syria.

Russia started a bombing campaign in Syria in September 2015 at the official request of the government in Damascus.

The airstrikes against Daesh and al-Qaeda-lined terrorist groups greatly boosted Syria’s position in the war as the Syrian military and its allies managed to purge militants from the key city of Aleppo late last year.

Thousands of Russian nationals are estimated to have joined the militant groups in Syria since the war began six years ago.

Besides helping Damascus with the anti-terror campaign, Russia has defended its military presence in Syria as a preemptive measure aimed at preventing possible terror attacks on its soil when militants return home.

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