Ten people from Central Asia were arrested in Moscow and the surrounding region on Tuesday on suspicion of involvement with the Islamic State terrorist organization, the Interfax news agency reported.
Two of them were detained in a mall in southeastern Moscow, the report said.
A probe has been opened into their possible involvement with various Islamic extremist organizations, an unidentified source told Interfax, adding that the men may have been recruiting new members for the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.
This is the second mass arrest of people allegedly connected to the Islamic State since Russia announced an air offensive in Syria in order to fight terrorists on Sept. 30. The Kremlin has cited curbing terrorism internationally and making sure Russian nationals in the IS ranks don't come back home as the main reasons behind the Russian air strikes. Up to 2,000 Russians are fighting alongside the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in July.
Earlier this month, law enforcement officers detained a group of 12 people in Moscow who were accused of plotting a terrorist attack on the city's public transportation system. Some of them were said to have been trained by Islamic State militants in Syria.
Intelligence agents have foiled 20 terrorist plots in Russia this year, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, and asked officials to increase their efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.
Islamic insurgency has been brewing in Russia's North Caucasus following two wars in Chechnya in the 1990s. In neighboring Dagestan, the insurgents — who want to carve out a state governed by their strict interpretation of Islamic law — clash with law enforcement officers almost daily. Moscow says some of these militants have links to the Islamic State.