The 14 are allegedly part of an international criminal group with underground printers and laboratories
MOSCOW, Russia (Feb. 18, 2016) — Russian security services on Thursday, February 18, said they have detained 14 people suspected of forging documents for people wanting to fight with the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Syria and jihadists coming to Russia.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said the detainees were members of a group “suspected of making counterfeit documents for people departing for Syria with the goal of participating in combat on the side of ISIS as well as for militants sent to Russia by ISIS leaders for carrying out acts of terror.”
The “multi-stage operation” against this “international criminal group” identified “underground printers, laboratories and a system for the supply of forged documents,” the FSB said in a statement.
The group was making documents for citizens of Russia and other ex-Soviet countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the statement said, without elaborating.
The 14 suspects were detained in Moscow, it said, and police were searching for people to whom the documents were provided, it said.
Officials say that thousands of Russians have departed for Syria to fight Syrian government forces, fearing their return to Russia.
Battling Islamists in Syria rather than at home was one of the reasons Moscow gave for launching a bombing campaign in Syria last September in support of forces fighting for its long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad.