Russian federal agents in Bashkortostan say they've arrested a man suspected of fighting with a Russian-speaking group tied to the terrorist organization al-Qaeda since at least 2014, the newspaper Kommersant reports. The Federal Security Service (FSB) has not named the individual, but a spokesperson says the suspect was detained earlier this month by guards while crossing the Turkish-Syrian border, before being returned to Russia.
The FSB says the man in custody has confessed to fighting with jihadists and is now cooperating with its investigation.
The suspect allegedly fought with a small group called “The Army of Emigrants and Their Helpers,” which two years ago pledged its allegiance to al-Qaeda, while also fighting with the Islamic State (another terrorist group outlawed in Russia).
According to Kommersant, Russian authorities in Bashkortostan also arrested a recruiter for the Islamic State.