MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Suspected supporters of a terrorist recruiter who used the Telegram messenger, which had been blocked by Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, were detained in St. Petersburg, the Russian Investigative Committee reported.
"Those who used Telegram to contact the recruiter of a terrorist organization were detained for 48 hours under Article 91 of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code," the Investigative Committee reported.
The Investigative Committee published video footage on its YouTube channel of a SOBR special unit detaining at least seven suspects in a flat. Investigators plan to apply for their arrest in the near future.
TASS earlier reported that two 21-year-old residents of Middle Asian origin were charged with preparations for participation in a terrorist organization’s activity in St. Petersburg. According to investigators, the suspects used the Telegram messenger for communication. A criminal case against them was launched under Part 1 Article 30 and Part 2 Article 205.5 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Attempted participation in the activities of a terrorist organization").
According to investigators, the suspects confirmed to an unidentified person their wish to take part in the activity of an international terrorist organization in a Middle East country and sent copies of their passports through social media from December 2017 to April 2018 in St. Petersburg. The specified unidentified person told them a safe route from Russia skirting law enforcement authorities and expressed a wish to help them reach a training camp of the terror organization.
On April 10, the co-perpetrators purchased air tickets for a subsequent flight from Russia to the specified country. However, they failed to consummate the crime, as they were detained by investigators and officers from the regional departments of the Russian Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB).