5,000 Daesh terrorists amassed in Afghanistan: Russia
Russia’s top intelligence official has warned that thousands of militants belonging to a Daesh affiliate and with battle experience in Syria have converged in areas in northern Afghanistan bordering post-Soviet Central Asian republics.
Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), said on Tuesday that a local affiliate of the Daesh terrorist group had managed to gather as many as 5,000 militants in the area, according to RT.
Addressing the chiefs of intelligence services from ex-Soviet republics in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe, Bortnikov said, “Especially worrying is re-deployment of terrorist groups into northern provinces of Afghanistan.”
The Russian official said terrorist cells were currently infiltrating into Afghanistan’s northern neighbors in an attempt to establish ties with organized crime. He said the terrorists were trying to slip through posing as refugees.
Daesh has been militarily defeated in Syria and Iraq, the two Arab countries where the terrorist group overtook pieces of land starting in 2014. But the group has not been disbanded altogether.
The remarks by Bortnikov came a day after authorities in the Central Asian country of Tajikistan announced that a prison riot started by convicted Daesh terrorists left 32 inmates and prison guards dead.
The FSB director cautioned last month that Daesh terrorists were returning to their native countries and establishing terrorist cells.
Many of the foreign terrorists fighting alongside Daesh in Syria and Iraq have been killed in anti-terror operations by the militaries of the two countries. But those who survived have long been known to pose serious threats to their native countries upon return.