Russian police are inspecting thousands of its 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteers for terrorist links.
Terrorist groups have threatened to stage attacks during the June 14-July 15 World Cup in Russia. Last year, a pro-Islamic State media outlet circulated a poster of Argentine forward Lionel Messi crying tears of blood with the caption “You are fighting a state that does not have failure in its dictionary.”
“Volunteers are being inspected, including for involvement in terrorist activities,” Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.
Some 6,000 volunteers will help fans navigate transportation, health and other facilities in Russia as it prepares to host the football championship this summer.
Zubov said a “Russian football resource center” has been set up for law enforcement bodies to gather data on “risk groups” among fans.