Federal Security Service Head: Chechen Extremists Continue Attempts To Destabilize Situation In Russia

Chechen extremists continue their attempts to destabilize the situation in Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, Director of the Federal Security Service (known by the Russian abbreviation FSB), said at a meeting with the editors-in-chief of major Russian media Tuesday. According to Patrushev, law-enforcement agencies abort such attempts most often in regions adjacent to Chechnya or in cooperation with Chechen communities based elsewhere in Russia. This year, the FSB has focused its energies on preventing and aborting terrorist and subversive acts that pose a threat to the foundation of the constitutional system and to public security, he said. There are quite a few examples of terrorism-related crimes that have been solved, Patrushev remarked. Thus, investigators have already identified those behind the September 1999 murderous explosions in Moscow apartment buildings. In the course of the investigation into the 1999 blasts, law-enforcers apprehended a five-member terrorist group as it was plotting terror attacks in other Russian cities. In November, the Stavropol district court sentenced them to prison terms of 5 to 15 years. Also, 27 people have been arrested on suspicion of complicity in the spring 2001 acts of terrorism in the Caucasian cities of Mineralnye Vody and Yessentuki, and in the republic of Karachai-Circassia. The case is currently under investigation.