MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. A total of 16 terror attacks involving citizens of CIS countries were prevented in Russia last year, Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov said at a session of the National Anti-Terror Committee on Tuesday.
"Last year alone, 16 terror attacks were prevented in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, Tula, Ufa, Sochi, Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod," Bortnikov said.
The FSB chief, who is also chairman of the National Anti-Terror Committee, said that "citizens of CIS countries were participants of neutralized groups and 46 cells of international terrorist organizations were liquidated."
The Federal Security Service is implementing a set of preventive and operational search measures jointly with other law-enforcement agencies to prevent terror attacks, the FSB chief said.
"It is necessary to continue work on exposing and eliminating the channels of terrorism financing and its support with other resources and fight the illegal turnover of arms and explosives," he said.
Another important task is to counter the ideology of terrorism and the involvement of persons from among migrants and other vulnerable social groups into terrorist activity, Bortnikov said.
At the same time, efforts are needed to strengthen cooperation with foreign partners, raise the promptness of information exchange and take necessary measures for detaining criminals, the head of the National Anti-Terror Committee said.
Labor migrants in Russia have become the backbone of terrorist groups, according to Bortnikov.
"Analysis of the information available at this point indicates that most of the terrorist groups’ members are citizens of other CIS countries who have arrived in Russia in search of jobs. Some of them underwent special training and participated in hostilities in Syria and Iraq," Bortnikov said.
"Upon arrival in Russia these persons launch active recruitment activities among migrants to hire those prepared to commit terrorist attacks in Russia’s regions," Bortnikov said.
He urged restoration of order to Russia’s migration-related affairs.
"As the investigation of the St. Petersburg bomb blast has shown, the efforts along these lines still fall short of the scale of threats coming from international terrorist organizations," Bortnikov said.
"To prevent militants’ attempts to penetrate into Russia extra border control measures have to be taken at border checkpoints, along entry and exit routes and inside the passenger flow in relation to persons suspected of affiliation with terrorist structures," Bortnikov said.
"Anti-terrorist commissions should extent a helping hand to the regional authorities in drafting pre-emptive and administrative measures to restore order to restore order to and enhance control of the migration sphere, tighten the responsibility of officials responsible for the observance of migration legislation and businesses that use migrant workers, and also individuals who rent housing and other rooms for the accommodation of foreign nationals," he said.