Terrorism has escalated in Russia as the Muslim population grows:
On October 20, 2015, Vladimir Putin made a statement to the press noting that Russia had foiled 20 Islamist militant attacks so far this year and that he foresees more to come in the near future. Putin stated that he is stepping up efforts to root out terrorism in Russia. Putin also said that Russia’s state security had killed 112 Islamist militants and arrested over 560 Islamists so far in 2015.
On October 13th Russia’s Federal Security Service foiled an Islamist plot to bomb Moscow’s busy subway system. Some of the men arrested in connection with the plot to bomb the subway were Russian Muslims who had gone to Syria to train with ISIS. When they returned to Russia they began conducting the subway plot.
Russian Security also arrested 20 Muslims in connection with financing terrorism and advocating the creation of an Islamic Caliphate in Russia.
The Russian Minister of Interior said security searched 24 addresses in Moscow where members of Hizbat al-Tahrir are known to reside. Hizbat al-Tahrir is a terrorist group with factions in Syria who are trying to impose Islamic Law, but Hizbat al-Tahrir members are also placed strategically in western countries as well–Australia being one of those countries. Australia is having major terrorist problems via Hizbat al-Tahrir. A Russian Ministry statement said: “The members of this extremist organisation were recruiting new followers, distributing banned religious material and raising funds, including to help finance armed militants.”
Putin said that ISIS militants in Syria were planning to destabilise other regions and were recruiting Russians and citizens of other former Soviet states with a goal of expanding their operations. Putin said: “Having established a foothold in Syria and other Middle East countries, the terrorists have been building their plans to increase expansion and destabilise entire regions.”
The main area in Russia where there is terrorist recruiting being done by Islamist militants is in the north Caucasus region, Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia. Officials in Russia also say they are worried about the spread of jihad to former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
** In 2010, Muslims made up 11.7% of the population in Russia. Exact numbers haven’t been officially reported, but have been estimated to be around 14% in 2014. Statistics show that when the Muslim population hits 5% in any country–that country begins to face major problems with violence. See: “The Danger of Muslim Population Growth” on this website for details. Problems often start when the Muslim population is as low as 2%.