Mikhail Remizov: "Migrating Daesh militants may redeploy among hotspots"
As a result of the operation of the Russian Air Forces in Syria, the terrorist center was localized and the Daesh infrastructure was seriously destroyed. The resource support of the terrorist groups was undermined. A month ago, the Russian-American agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria came into force, but Daesh and Dzhabhat en-Nusra were beyond the agreement, which is why the fight against them will continue. Meanwhile, according to some information, 2000 natives of the North Caucasus are fighting in the ranks of the terrorist groups. It is said that the radicals pay special attention to recruitment in Russia and find potential supporters with the help of a variety of channels and the Internet. The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, believes that a terrorist threat will remain in Russia even after the defeat of Daesh.
- Has the activity of the underground terrorists increased or decreased in the North Caucasus during the operations of Russian Air Forces in Syria?
- I think it hasn't changed drastically. Maybe a detailed analysis will show some deviations, but I think that the situation hasn't changed fundamentally. However, it is obvious that in recent years the situation has improved in terms of statistics of terrorist acts and subversive underground activity.
From the viewpoint of stabilization, the more important task is to prevent the return of insurgents to Russia rather than military and political success on Syrian territory. The point is that the direct military and political successes aren't converted, i.e. don't parry the threat that comes from the potential returnees and generally from the underground in the North Caucasus.
- How has the probability of the return and penetration of Daesh to the North Caucasus changed? What should we be ready for – new terrorist attacks or strengthening of extremist propaganda in this context?
- In my opinion, the background of the terrorist threat has increased in general during the initial period of the operation. This was confirmed by the loud aircraft attack. But now these threats are at the same level as they were before the operation.
The scenario of the Daesh expansion was foiled, but the possibility of activization of its propaganda, recruiting and sabotage ideas on the territory of Russia still remains. If Daesh strengthened in "their" region, they would have moved to activity in non-regional theaters. In the case of compression and their defeat, jihadists change their location and priorities. There is a certain migration number of terrorists that can be moved among hotspots. We should understand that they are different people, but there is a succession of the Afghan war against the Soviet Union – Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and so on. If jihadists' expansion is brought to naught in Syria, then after a while you may find another point of crystallization, another direction of their effort. I don't think that it will be on Russian territory, but it is possible that it will not be far from our borders.