Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday that it had prevented terrorist attacks planned by Islamic State (IS) for New Year’s celebrations and presidential election events in Moscow.
The statement comes two months after the FSB said it foiled an IS sleeper cell in the capital. In late August, the FSB also said it had stopped terrorist attacks planned for Sept. 1, the start of the school year.
FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov was cited as saying Tuesday that the arrested terrorists were from Central Asia and that they had been planning suicide bombing attacks in Russia’s capital, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
In a video posted by RIA Novosti, security forces are seen examining homemade bombs, guns, and grenades in an apartment they link to the suspects.
According to Bortnikov, the FSB has prevented 18 terrorism attacks in Russia in 2017.
“The results of our analysis testify to the continuing attempts of leaders of international terrorist organizations to create hotbeds of terrorist activity in Russia,” he was cited by the state-run TASS news agency as saying.
The FSB statements come after Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Dec. 7 that it had completely liberated Syria from IS, a terrorist organization banned in Russia.
Bortnikov warned that returning IS militants would increase the danger of terrorist attacks in Russia, RIA Novosti reported.