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Four businessmen arrested in northwest Russia on suspicion of links with Syria militants

July 05, 2016, 14:21 UTC+3 VOLOGDA

According to preliminary information, they were funneling funds to Syria

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

VOLOGDA, July 5. /TASS/. Four businessmen have been arrested in Vologda in northwest Russia on suspicion of their links with militants in Syria, the regional branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on Tuesday.

"The court has chosen arrest as a measure of restraint for these persons," the regional branch’s press office said.

As was reported on July 2, security officers carried out a joint operation with Interior Ministry operatives and the regional prosecutor’s office in the village of Saninskaya of the Babayevsky district in the Vologda Region to detain a group of adherents to radical Islam suspected of links with militants in Syria.

According to preliminary information, they were funneling funds to Syria from the sale of timber, the FSB regional branch said.

During the special operation in the premises where the suspects could be living, the security officers seized presumably "a suicide belt with 1.2 kilos of hexogen-content explosives, a pistol-machine gun, cartridges, three grenades and another home-made explosive device." 

"The investigative unit of the FSB branch for the Vologda Region has opened 10 criminal cases after operational measures were carried out in populated areas in the Babayevsky district. The FSB operatives are checking information on the suspects’ participation in the terrorist activity of the Islamic State [terrorist organization outlawed in Russia], on the territory of Syria, their complicity in the terrorist activity and the illegal turnover of weapons," the FSB regional branch said.

During the joint operation of the Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry and the regional prosecutor’s office, the law enforcers also found literature of presumably extremist nature.

According to the law enforcers, the prayer room was used during religious gatherings to demonstrate sermons of the ideologists of international terror organizations justifying terrorist activity.

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