About 3,000 Russian citizens have gone to join terrorist organizations abroad, Russian National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) deputy head Yevgeny Ilyin said Wednesday.

Some 3,000 Russian citizens have gone to join terrorist organizations abroad, Russian National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) deputy head Yevgeny Ilyin said Wednesday.

“As of today, we have data on nearly 3,000 Russians espousing terrorist ideology having left the country in order to take part in international terrorist organizations’ activities,” Ilyin said when speaking at the Modern Security Systems — Antiterror forum in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk.

The anti-terror forum is taking place on May 25-27 and showcases industrial products dealing with safety, security, fire prevention, defense, criminalistics and emergency equipment. It is attended by NAC and special services representatives from across Russia.

Those joining terror groups are mainly from Russia’s North Caucasus region, Ilyin noted, adding that four quarters of these are uneducated, under 30 years of age and poor.
Recruit travel routes pass mainly through Turkey and Egypt, as well as Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine, according to the NAC deputy head.

Russia, like other countries around the world, has been exposed to the risk of becoming a potential recruiting ground for radical Islamist networks. The Russian Interior Ministry said last December that up to 2,000 Russian nationals were estimated to be involved in the activities of the Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia, which is operating primarily in Iraq and Syria.

In early 2016, the leader of the North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, said that over 800 people from Dagestan had gone to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside terrorists.


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