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Militants try to gain control of drug trafficking from Afghanistan — Russia’s FSB

This may pose a threat, as the financing of the Islamic State will improve, the chief of the FSB’s information and international relations department said

MOSCOW, September 3. /TASS/. Russia’s federal security service FSB believes that militants, including those affiliated with the terrorist organization Islamic State, outlawed in Russia, are trying to get control of drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

"The crime rings do not stay idle, of course. For instance, some militants are moving to the north of Afghanistan. We forecast that certain drug trafficking channels will be put under control, which may pose a threat, as the financing of this (terrorist) organization will improve," the chief of the FSB’s information and international relations department, Sergei Beseda, told a conference in Moscow on resistance to illegal methods of weapons trafficking in the context of struggle against international terrorism in Moscow.

Lately, the struggle against international terrorism underwent considerable change.

"In the Middle East terrorist organizations led by the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) sustained heavy losses in manpower and materiel. Militants lost control of part of the previously controlled territories. Their economic basis, which allowed for financing major armed groups in Syria and Iraq and their followers elsewhere, has shrunk considerably," he said.

Beseda said that since 2014 the Islamic State’s incomes had slumped 90%.

"Whereas in 2014 the Islamic State’s cash revenues were estimated at about $3 billion, currently it receives about $200 million - $300 million a year, which is 90% less," Beseda said.

"This happened because the ‘oil tribute’ the militants had been receiving from territories once under their control has slumped," he pointed out. "The terrorist organization now retargets its activity towards less costly projects. For instance, it has stepped up propaganda in the social networks."