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Militants from CIS fighting for IS may threaten regional security upon returning home

September 26, 2014, 13:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
At the previous meeting of CIS security officials, the participants discussed the situations in the Middle East and in Northern Africa
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MOSCOW, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Militants from CIS countries, who have joined extremists of the Islamic State (IS), may be of major threat upon returning home, Russia’s head of Security Council Nikolai Patrushev told a meeting of CIS security officials on Friday.

He said supporters of radical Islam from the Middle East, the EU, the U.S. and also from CIS have been joining IS extremists who unite now about 50,000 militants.

“Those, who receive that kind of military experience and remain religiously and politically motivated, upon returning home may become a major threat for national security in their countries,” he said adding the problem is a security challenge in the CIS.

At the previous meeting of CIS security officials, the participants discussed the situations in the Middle East and in Northern Africa. Since then, the situations in the region have not improved, but rather became even tenser, he said. The Islamic State, which controls several territories in Iraq and Syria, has demonstrated its might.

“Experts say, between 30 and 50 thousand militants are fighting for the organization,” he said. “They make a major force, which in case of lack of reaction, may undermine the current system of inter-state relations and security.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is an Islamic terrorist organization active in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic State sprang into existence last year after the merger of two “branches” of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. The group has been globally recognized as a key threat to international security.

The first meeting of chiefs of the Security Councils of the CIS member states took place in Moscow in December 2013. The meeting was attended by delegations from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. Its key topic was the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa, and threats to regional and global security coming from Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Egypt.

The December meeting yielded cooperation plans between Security Councils of Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan for 2014-2015.

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