Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Monday he had met with 20 young men — who had reportedly plotted to kill him — and forgiven them.
The men were detained on Sunday in the town of Argun on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack against the Chechen leader, the Grozny television channel reported.
“Nonetheless, the head of [Chechnya] forgave the young people and gave them an opportunity for redemption,” the channel said.
Kadyrov said in an Instagram post that he had spent five hours talking to the men, who he said had been “brainwashed” by an “uneducated Imam.”
“They didn't even have a vague idea about the figure of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his supporters,”
Kadyrov said in the post, referring to the self-proclaimed head of Islamic State.
The post was published alongside a video which showed Kadyrov giving a sermon to a row of men with bowed heads, and people — thought to be relatives of the men — crying. The video ended with Kadyrov giving some of the men hugs.
“[The men] stated sincerely that they realize their mistakes, repent and will embark on the path of truth. Their parents have promised they will strictly control their behavior," Kadyrov said.