6 Central Asian citizens detained in Russia over terror links

Indo Asian News Service

Moscow, April 6 (IANS) Six people from Central Asia were detained in St Petersburg on suspicion of collaborating with terror organisations including the Islamic State, Russian authorities said.

According to the Investigative Committee of Russia on Wednesday, the suspects were accused of recruiting people for terror groups such as the Islamist former al-Qaida branch Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and the IS, Efe news reported.

The arrests came two days after a deadly terror attack struck the city's metro system, leading to the deaths of 14 persons and leaving scores injured.

Russia's main federal investigative authority said raids had been carried out at the residences of those arrested on Wednesday, during which Islamic extremist material and other documents were found.

Investigators have not said whether the six had any links to Monday's attack, which authorities said was carried out by a Russian citizen of Kyrgyz origin, identified as Akbarzhon Jalilov.

The 22-year-old Jalilov, who worked at a garage in St. Petersburg, was born in the Central American country of Kyrgyzstan, but obtained Russian nationality in 2011.

Jalilov allegedly detonated an explosive on the city's metro between the central Sennaya Square and Tekhnologichesky Institut stations.

Criminal investigators found traces of his DNA on an explosive suitcase that had been left behind in the Ploschad Vosstania station, which was deactivated by police before it could be detonated.