Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot

FSB says group planned "high-profile" attacks in major Russian cities.

The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation said in a written statement.

The agency said the group was planning to carry out "high-profile attacks" using improvised explosives on Moscow, St. Petersburg and in the area around Ekaterinburg. During searches of the group’s houses, agents found a bomb-making laboratory, including explosives and detonators, as well as guns and grenades, according to the statement. Officers also allegedly found banned extremist writings.

The members of the group were Russian citizens, as well as from Central Asian states, the FSB said, although the agency did not specify which countries. The group was being led by an alleged Islamic State militant recently arrived from Turkey, implying he may have returned from Syria.

The Islamic State has pledged to carry out terror attacks in Russia in revenge for Moscow’s military intervention in Syria. So far, the terror group has not succeeded in hitting the Russian homeland, although ISIS bomb brought down a Russian passenger airliner over Egypt in late-October, killing 224 people.

In the past few months, Russian security services have said they have interrupted a number of terror plots in Russia, and have arrested and killed militants they accuse of belonging to ISIS.