This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Russian authorities say they have detained seven people suspected of financially supporting two extremist organizations in the Middle East.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said on December 13 that the suspects had been apprehended in and around the Moscow region and the three North Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Daghestan, and Ingushetia.
They were suspected of sending at least 38 million rubles ($570,000) to militants of the Islamic State (IS) group and the Al-Nusra Front – Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate until 2016 — since 2010.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said the seven suspects were detained following a joint operation by the FSB, the Investigative Committee, and the National Guard.
Also on December 13, authorities in Ingushetia said that two suspected terrorists were killed overnight after one of them threw a grenade at police in the city of Nazran.
Two officers were wounded in the attack, officials said.
Violence is common in the North Caucasus, where Islamic militants have been mounting frequent attacks against police, public officials, and moderate Muslims.
In June 2015, Islamic militants in the North Caucasus announced in an Internet video post that they had pledged allegiance to the IS.
Russia estimates some 2,000 citizens, mostly from the North Caucasus, have fought alongside IS in Syria.
Organized crime, business turf wars, political disputes, and clan rivalry also contribute to the bloodshed in the region.