More than 700 criminal cases were opened against Russian citizens fighting for the Islamic State in the past year, according to Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.
In his annual report to the country's Federation Council — obtained by the TASS news agency — Chaika said there are more than 700 cases of Russian citizens participating in illegal groups in Syria and Iraq, without giving further details. Chaika is expected to present the report to the Council on Wednesday.
The report also said there was a sharp increase in terrorism-related crime in Russia this year, with the number of such criminal cases reaching 1,538 — a 36.3 percent increase from last year.
It said the majority of the crimes involved participation in illegal armed groups, which increased by 28 percent and now accounts for more than 65 percent of all terrorism-related crimes.
However, Chaika said there were eight registered terrorist attacks in Russia this year — a 75.8 percent decrease from last year.
In November, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said that some 480 Chechens have joined the Islamic State and that many of them were drafted into the Islamic State “by means of deception,” according to RIA Novosti.
The Islamic State is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.