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Russia says it cracked group preparing Paris-style attacks

Head of the Federal Security Service says members were preparing to go to Syria after attacks in Russian cities

A rescue worker talks to an injured person lying on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. (AFP/ DOMINIQUE FAGET)
A rescue worker talks to an injured person lying on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. (AFP/ DOMINIQUE FAGET)

MOSCOW — Russia’s security chief says his agency has tracked down a group working to prepare “Paris-style” attacks in major Russian cities.

Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, the top KGB successor agency, said it cracked the group in February in cooperation with Kazakhstan’s security service.

He said Thursday that the group’s members were planning to go to Syria to join the Islamic State group after conducting the terror attacks “under the Paris scenario.” Bortnikov didn’t say how many suspects have been arrested or give any further details.

The Nov. 13 attacks in Paris left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. Most of those killed were hostages in the Bataclan concert hall.

Russia has conducted an air campaign in Syria with the declared goal of fighting Islamic State. The terror group claimed responsibility in October for bringing down a Russian passenger plane carrying 224 people as it left the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh and headed for St. Petersburg.

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