MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service) has exposed a network of Al-Qaeda in its territory (the North Caucasian region), FSB director Nikolai Patrushev told the executives of the leading Russian media at a meeting in Moscow.
Members of the terrorist network have been established “and now we have to neutralize their activity,” he said.
Mr. Patrushev noted that the FSB and other law-enforcement agencies had detained over 900 militants. The FSB has defined a number of them presenting the worst danger to Russia – Basayev, Maskhadov, Udugov, Umarov, Gochiyayev, Khalilov, Abu Havs, Abu Tari. “We have to fix their location and detain them,” Mr. Patrushev said.
The FSB director noted that work of only his service is not enough for their efficient detainment and neutralization: all branches of power have to join in.
In 2004 the FSB service prevented over 200 acts of terrorism, fraught with grave effects for the country.
In addition, the Russian secret services have registered over 1,600 anonymous threats of committing terrorist and extremist acts. “About 300 anonymous authors have been established. On such acts 94 criminal cases have been initiated and 16 persons sentenced,” he stressed.
On information from the security agencies, the court has closed branches of Russian National Unity in Tatarstan, the Kaliningrad and Kamchatka regions, banned the operation of the political party True Russian Patriots.
In Chechnya in 2004, the special operations of the FSB and other law-enforcement agencies neutralized over 200 militants.
“Among them are the odious terrorists Abu al-Walid, Ruslan Gelayev, A. Basnukayev and A. Visimbayev,” Mr. Patrushev said.
Over 1,500 firearms have been seized from militants and about 800 facilities of the militant infrastructure destroyed.
In 2004, 238 foreigners suspected of having to do with terrorist and extremist activities were not allowed into Russia. According to Mr. Patrushev, FSB operatives discovered Salimov and the Sadirov brothers involved in terrorism in Tajikistan. Now, they have been extradited.
“In 2004 the FSB service ended the activities of 18 career officers of the foreign secret services. Six of them have been caught red-handed and two of them later brought to account in line with the criminal law,” Patrushev said.
The FSB has cut short the activity of 47 secret agents. “This figure demonstrates the activity of foreign secret services in Russia,” Mr. Patrushev said.
The FSB chief said that operation of 89 persons having to do with the foreign secret services and organizations, or radical religious-nationalist organizations has been contained. “Among them are 16 Russian nationals, seven of which have been sentenced; 18 foreigners expelled from Russia and 32 foreigners banned to enter,” he said.
In the opinion of the FSB director, the espionage activity of some foreign secret services and organizations against Russia presents a real and serious threat to the national interests and security of Russia. “Our service has been traditionally paying an increased attention to this matter,” Mr. Patrushev stressed.
The FSB is in cooperation with 98 secret services in 68 countries and maintains permanent cooperation “with 93 secret services in 63 countries.”
Cooperation with 42 foreign border-guard bodies in 35 countries is maintained “within the framework of multilateral and bilateral agreements.”
Mr. Patrushev added that cooperation is most active with the secret services and border-guard bodies of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. “We do permanent work on the agreements reached and the improvement of the present forms of cooperation with the CIS states”, the FSB director said.