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Up to 1,500 citizens from CIS states fight in ‘hot spots’ — Antiterrorism Committee

December 16, 2014, 12:57 UTC+3

Among the citizens of CIS countries fighting in "hot spots" are up to 500 Russians, the first deputy chairman of the National Antiterrorism Committee Yevgeny Ilyin said

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MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Up to 1,500 citizens from former Soviet states, including 500 from Russia, are currently fighting in “hot spots” around the world, and also in the zone of the Islamic State (IS), the first deputy chairman of the National Antiterrorism Committee, Yevgeny Ilyin, said on Tuesday.

“Some 500 people from Russia are fighting in 'hot spots' in various countries of the world, including on the territory of armed actions of the Islamic State, and taking into account the CIS states, this figure exceeds 1,500 people,” he told journalists.

Russia’s authorities are taking steps to identify those gunmen who come home after fighting in the zones of conflicts. “There are plenty of court rulings on this. Every week we deal with a new criminal case on those who return from ‘hot spots’,” Ilyin said.

Recruting via Internet

Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee points to the present-day growing tendency of converts joining terrorism organizations, i.e. when religious extremists are joined by people of other religious beliefs after converting to another religion.

Andrey Przhezdomsky, a spokesman for the committee, told a news conference on Tuesday that besides people from Russia’s North Caucasus, terrorist groups were also joined by the so-called "neophytes," who converted to another religion and “they are all currently either on wanted lists or subjected to investigations.”

Przhezdomsky said the recruiters were well trained people, but “the main recruiter as of today is Internet.” According to him, Internet currently boasts “at least 10,000 resources” oriented on terrorism ideology.

“Half a thousand of them are in the Russian language, having youth as their targeted audience,” Przhezdomsky said. “Eighty percent of users are below the age of 30 years, but there are children as well.”

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