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Kadyrov Says CIA is Recruiting Russians for Islamic State

Ramzan Kadyrov

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of using fake social media accounts to draw young Russian men into the Islamic State and other terrorist networks.

"Young people have said that fake profiles created by Western intelligence agencies on social media have actively been conducting work to attract young people to terrorist organizations and other groups created by them, like the Islamic State," Kadyrov wrote on Instagram on Saturday after a meeting with officials and prominent Chechen bloggers.

"Officials from the [Chechen presidential administration's] monitoring department and bloggers actively resist such attempts to drag them into the ranks of bloody terrorists, the aim of which is to destroy Muslims and ruin Muslim countries. The war in Syria and Iraq has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims, and led to the destruction of Islamic relics," he said, adding that "the leaders of these [terrorist] gangs are agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies."

Kadyrov has been known to point the finger at Western intelligence agencies for all things terrorism related.

At a rally in Grozny in mid-January — held to protest the re-publication of cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad after journalists at French newspaper Charlie Hebdo were gunned down by Islamists for making such cartoons — Kadyrov said that "intelligence agencies of Western countries may have been behind the [Paris] incident to provoke a new wave of recruiting for the Islamic State," Russian media reported at the time.

The offices of Charlie Hebdo were stormed on Jan. 7 and 12 people killed in an attack said to be retaliation for derogatory depictions of the prophet Muhammad.

Kadyrov stopped short of blaming the victims of the attack but said the cartoons that got them killed were "vulgar and immoral."

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