Three foreign special services agents have been exposed in Novosibirsk, Siberia, over the past year. According to Sergei Savchenkov, the head of the local Security Service, they "showed interest in political activities of the city". He said that the foreign agents had collected information on political parties and movements, on political events and processes in the centre of the Siberian Federal District, on the distribution of power between federal and local authorities. "Special services' interest in the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences and its staffers has not reduced either," Savchenkov pointed out. He did not specify which countries the agents came from, but said that "political and operational decisions regarding these facts had been taken." One of the suspects has been expelled from the country. As for the fight against international terrorism, the FSB official said that his agency "was dealing with the so-called Caucasian syndrome." "We have intensified our work and now I can say that there are no real threats to Novosibirsk, though weak manifestations of terrorism still exist". According to him, the FSB officers from Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg exposed a "Wahhabite cell" and confiscated over 1,500 nationalistic books and brochures. Criminal proceedings were instituted, and two persons arrested.
The strike was defensive in nature and came in response to three attacks on the US military in February