Russia appears to be cracking down on Muslims and labor migrants in response to what it says are domestic terror threats from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group with reports of mass arrests of “IS-linked suspects” last week.
The apparent crackdown comes amid heightened fears of attacks in Russia following the start of its air campaign in Syria on September 30. Earlier this month, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said it had foiled a major terror attack in the capital that was said to be in retaliation for Russia’s air strikes in Syria. Twelve suspects were arrested and three have been remanded in custody until December.
But a wave of arrests last week, billed as part of an “anti-IS” crackdown, seem to be part of a wider effort to target other Islamist groups, in particular the pan-Islamist political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir.