Moscow warns of threat from 2,000 relatives of Russian IS fighters
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Moscow warns of threat from 2,000 relatives of Russian IS fighters

FSB security service cautions returnees ‘quite often adhere to extremist religious ideology’

Illustrative: Russian women, who have been sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining the Islamic State terror group, standing with their children in a hallway, in Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, on April 29, 2018. (AFP Photo/Ammar Karim)
Illustrative: Russian women, who have been sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining the Islamic State terror group, standing with their children in a hallway, in Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, on April 29, 2018. (AFP Photo/Ammar Karim)

MOSCOW — Russia’s security service chief on Thursday warned about some 2,000 women and children related to Russian fighters for the Islamic State group who he said could return and commit attacks.

“Currently there are around 2,000 women and children on whom we have data who are relatives of fighters, that’s just Russian nationals,” the head of the FSB security service Alexander Bortnikov said at a regional security forum in Tashkent, TASS news agency reported.

He said that this included both family members who are still in the Middle East or who have left the region.

Some of these may still have extremist views and could commit terror attacks back in Russia, he warned.

“Such returnees quite often adhere to extremist religious ideology,” Bortnikov said.

He said “the heads of international terror organizations target such people as suicide bombers, proselytizers and recruiters and agents for the underground terrorist network.”

Unlike some other countries, Russia has organized the repatriation of some women and children of Islamist fighters, particularly to its Caucasus regions.

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