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Ukrainian extremist sympathizer nabbed in Altai Region plotted to blow up mosque

The perpetrator explained that he was assigned tasks by the organization’s handlers

MOSCOW, April 2. /TASS/. A man taken into custody in Barnaul who had been plotting to carry out acts of terror against migrants on orders of a Ukrainian nationalist organization has revealed that he intended to blow up a mosque. He admitted this during questioning which was captured on video and made public by the FSB’s Public Relations Center.

"I wanted to select a target - to blow up a mosque in Barnaul," he said. The perpetrator explained that he was assigned tasks by the organization’s handlers. His first mission was to carry out reconnaissance of the area near locations, stores that belong to people who did not appear to be of Slavic origin. "I fulfilled this task. The next mission was to destroy targets. The methods were selective, there was a possibility to commit arson, or, for example, to set off an explosion," the defendant said.

According to the FSB’s Public Relations Center, a 20-year-old local resident detained in Barnaul was planning, on the orders of a handler from a Ukrainian nationalist organization known as the Ethnic National Association (ENO), to commit acts of terror targeting the local population, which included Central Asians, at places where Muslims gathered in large numbers, in addition to targeting state government bodies. A search of the individual in custody uncovered an explosive substance, manuals on making explosive devices, extremist literature, as well as means of communication containing photographs of potential targets sent by the Ukrainian handler.

The FSB added that the detainee admitted his involvement. According to him, in February 2021, he initiated contact with an ENO representative since he was dissatisfied with the government’s policy on migration. In early March, he was handed an assignment to select potential targets and sent photo reports. Later, he received instructions to commit arson or set off an explosion or carry out other acts of terror, the FSB explained.