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Russia says it thwarted planned attack on synagogue

March 7, 2024

An unknown number of "Islamic State" gunmen were killed when FSB agents tried to arrest them, state news reported. Authorities said they were planning to attack a synagogue in Moscow.

Russian police pictured in 2023
Russia's FSB said that an "Islamic State" cell had been planning on attacking a Moscow synagogueImage: Valentin Yegorshin/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday that it had thwarted a planned "terrorist attack" on a Moscow synagogue, Russian news agencies reported.

The FSB said that a so-called "Islamic State" (IS) cell, based in Kaluga, situated southwest of Moscow, had planned on attacking Jewish worshippers.

Suspected IS members killed during arrest

"While being arrested, the terrorists put up armed resistance to the Russian FSB officers, and as a result were neutralized by return fire," the security service was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying in a statement.

"Firearms, ammunition, as well as components for the manufacture of an improvised explosive device were found and seized," the FSB said.

Security services footage circulated by Zvezda news — run by the Russian Defense Ministry — showed FSB personnel searching a house in which the bodies of two men could be seen along with weapons, ammunition and knives.

The FSB said the men had been part of the Afghan branch of IS, but did not state their nationality.

Earlier this month, the FSB said it killed six IS fighters in the Muslim-majority southern region of Ingushetia.

There have been rising tensions in parts of Russia between the country's Muslim and Jewish communities since the Israel-Hamas war. 

Anti-semitic sentiments boiled over last year October when a crowd stormed an airport in Makhachkala, in the Republic of Dagestan in southern Russia, in search of Israeli citizens, after word spread that a plane had arrived from Tel Aviv.

Russia accused Ukraine of fomenting the riot, saying it played a direct role, a claim Kyiv denied.

Dagestan: Hundreds storm airport looking for Israelis

kb/msh (AFP, Reuters)