Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian FSB spy agency, today warned that despite perceptions, ISIS recruitment is not a problem predominantly of Western Europe.
Bortnikov says that his government believes some 1,700 Russian citizens are now fighting in Iraq and Syria, and that this number has almost doubled in the past year.
The bulk of these fighters are coming from the Russian Federation’s North Caucasus, including places like Chechnya and Dagestan. They are also seeing some ISIS recruits coming from recent converts elsewhere, however.
Russia is a long-time ally of the Assad government in Syria, and has been backing them in the civil war. This may have played a role in luring Islamist groups, particularly those resenting Russia after the wars in Chechnya, into joining ISIS to undermine a Russian ally.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Drone Strikes Kill 31 People in Pakistan Tribal Areas - October 17th, 2017
- Catalonia Won't Renounce Independence, Despite Looming Deadline - October 17th, 2017
- Pentagon May Stop Training Iraqis Amid Kurdish Conflict - October 17th, 2017
- Kurdish Forces Abandon Territory In Face of Iraqi Offensive - October 17th, 2017
- Syrian Kurds Declare Victory in Raqqa, But Face Complicated Peace - October 17th, 2017