Alwaght- Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), warned that an ISIS terrorist group's offshoot has amassed around 5,000 militants in northern Afghanistan on the border of post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, adding that many of them have fought in Syria.
"Especially worrying is re-deployment of terrorist groups into northern provinces of Afghanistan,” Bortnikov told chiefs of ex-Soviet intelligence services in Dushanbe. He warned that ‘Wilayat Khorasan’, ISIS affiliate, had managed to gather 5,000 fighters in the area, Russia Today reported.
Terrorist cells are now infiltrating into former Soviet countries where they are forming ties with organized crime. To keep a low profile, they try to pose as refugees and migrants, according to Bortnikov.
ISIS has been militarily defeated in Syria and Iraq, the two Arab countries where the terrorist group overtook pieces of land starting in 2014. But the group has not been disbanded altogether.
The remarks by Bortnikov came a day after authorities in the Central Asian country of Tajikistan announced that a prison riot started by convicted ISIS terrorists left 32 inmates and prison guards dead.
The FSB director cautioned last month that ISIS terrorists were returning to their native countries and establishing terrorist cells.
Many of the foreign terrorists fighting alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq have been killed in anti-terror operations by the militaries of the two countries. But those who survived have long been known to pose serious threats to their native countries upon return.
Last month, the FSB director warned of IS militants returning to their countries of origin and creating terrorist cells at home. More than 1,500 of 5,000 jihadists from Europe who earlier joined ISIS managed to return from the Middle East, Bortnikov said at the time.