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Russia arrests seven for allegedly plotting terror attacks on Moscow, St. Petersburg

Their intended targets included Moscow and St. Petersburg, officials said.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Feb. 8, 2016 at 10:30 AM

MOSCOW, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Russian officials Monday arrested seven suspected Islamic State militants for allegedly planning terror attacks on Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Sverdlovsk region.

The suspects were detained in Yekaterinburg, a city 900 miles east of Moscow after explosives, grenades and other weapons were found in their homes, Russia's Federal Security Bureau said in a statement. It added the group intended to leave to join IS in Syria after the alleged attacks.

The group of seven includes "citizens of Russia and the Central Asian region," whose leaders "arrived from Turkey's territory," the FSB statement said. The suspects were accused of terrorism charges, "ammunition trafficking" and illegal storage of explosives.

"Searches in the houses of the detained suspects have uncovered a [do-it-yourself] explosives lab, explosives, electric detonators, firearms, grenades, bomb components and extremist literature," the statement said.

Russia began targeting IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL -- militants in Syria with airstrikes since September 2015. The Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee announced in January it discovered several groups, largely operating from Russia's North Caucasus region, plotting terrorist attacks across the country.

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