Russia said Thursday it had killed an alleged member of the Islamic State jihadist group and arrested another, accusing them of planning simultaneous attacks in Moscow and the southern region of Astrakhan.
“Acting on the instructions of the leaders of the terrorist structure, two citizens of Russia planned a simultaneous attack on residents of Moscow and the Astrakhan region with the use of firearms and knives in crowded places,” Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) security service said in a statement.
The security service said that the attacker in Astrakhan put up “armed resistance” and was “neutralized with return fire”, while the second attacker was detained in the Russian capital. It added that security officers were unharmed.
While inspecting the residences of the attackers, the FSB said it found “automatic firearms and ammunition, an F-1 grenade, as well as religious extremist literature.”
The FSB regularly claims to have intercepted terrorist plots, including by the IS.
The security service in December said it had foiled an attack planned by a cell loyal to the IS in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, arresting four people.
In April 2017, IS claimed responsibility for the killing of two traffic policemen in Astrakhan, which lies several hundred kilometers northeast of the volatile North Caucasus region.