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IS-run terror camps used to recruit Afghan youth, says CIS Anti-Terrorism Center chief

The Islamic State terrorist organization is beefing up its operations to recruit young people for its bases set up in Afghanistan and Pakistan, warns the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center chief

ODINTSOVO /Moscow region/, February 20. /TASS/. The Islamic State, a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia, is beefing up its operations to recruit young people for its bases set up in Afghanistan and Pakistan making up for lost ground in Syria and Iraq, chief of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center Colonel General Alexander Novikov told the heads of national anti-terrorism centers from the post-Soviet bloc on Monday.

"ISIS (the former name of IS) is practically being rebranded while remaining in place as a global religious-political project, and as a military-political model," Colonel General Novikov told a regular session.

"After the bulk of the militant core of IS had been eliminated, its remnants were shipped off to other regions. So, we must say that a new IS deployment base is taking shape in Afghanistan and Pakistan in place of its lost base in Syria and Iraq," Novikov said.

In order to revive the militant core, the Islamic State is ratcheting up its recruitment efforts aimed at Afghan and other ethnic youth and then train them at terror camps, the senior military officer said. The head of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center said it could be clearly seen that the transit of militants to Afghanistan from Central Asia, the North Caucasus and the Middle East is organized "under the same consistent scheme that was used in Syria and Iraq".

"I want to emphasize - specifically regarding the Central Asian states making up part of the Commonwealth of Independent States - that this not an organized influx of ISIS militants, but their dispersed infiltration," he said, adding that there are returnees among them.

Delegations from security and intelligence agencies of the post-Soviet bloc's member states are attending in this year’s session.