Major terror attack prevented in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has killed an ISIS member, who had been plotting a terror attack in Nizhny Novgorod on the presidential election day, the FSB Center for Public Relations said.
"The criminal, who resisted the arrest, was liquidated by FSB special forces," the center reported.
"According to received operational data, the terrorist, who is a citizen of a country of the near abroad, was ready to commit a terrorist attack on the Russian presidential election day," TASS cited the FSB as saying.
The FSB added that during an urgent investigative action, police found at the scene a powerful home-made explosive device and parts for production of several more explosive devices, as well as firearms and munitions belonging to the criminal.
The FSB Directorate for the Nizhny Novgorod Region has launched a criminal case based on involvement in the activity of ISIS and preparation of a terror attack.
On December 27, an explosion occurred at a grocery store in St. Petersburg, leaving at least 13 injured. In the wake of the St. Pete blast, President Vladimir Putin approved a law introducing harsher penalties, including life sentences, for terrorist recruitment in late December.
President of the International Association of Veterans of the Alpha Anti-Terrorism Unit, Sergey Goncharov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that terrorists have started switching to Russia's regional centers in the hope of gig unnoticed by the security forces. "Everyone understands that those security measures that special services undertake during the pre-election period and during the elections in Moscow and St. Petersburg are so strong, that it will not allow any militants to cause any trouble, including terrorist attacks," he stressed.
In this regard, the whole of Russia is under threat. "Special services, of course, work in every region, but in any case, militants will be focused, first of all, on the central cities of Russian regions. But I am sure the intelligence services control these problems," Sergey Goncharov said.
The president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, agreed with the expert. "A powerful and highly effective anti-terrorist protection system has been created in Moscow and St. Petersburg. So it is rather problematic to plot and commit a terrorist attack there. The militants probably think that there is no such system in the province, so they moved to places where, in their opinion, terrorist acts are easier to plot," he suggested, adding that in this case the regional cities with a population of at least 1 million are under threat.