100-strong terrorist cell busted in Russian prison where management was on the take – investigators
The jihadist ring was organized by a man from the southern republic of Dagestan, who was serving a sentence for illegal possession of firearms, Russian law enforcement said on Wednesday.
Footage of police action relevant to the case published by the Investigative Committee.
The prison where he was serving his term is located in Kalmykia, a region just north of Dagestan. Since his arrival in 2013, he managed to recruit over 100 inmates for what the investigators call a terrorist organization. Prison management was apparently aware of the recruitment drive, but they chose to turn a blind eye to the activity in return for bribes, instead of cracking down.
A massive multi-agency operation was launched to bust the cell, with raids and searches organized in Kalmykia, Dagestan and three other Russian regions. One of the targets was the office of the prison's deputy warden.
A total of 22 people are facing prosecution for organizing the terrorist cell. Five people were arrested as part of the crackdown, a statement from the Investigative Committee said.
Three others, who were suspected of being actively involved in a terrorist cell after their release from the prison, were killed after opening fire on law enforcement officers as they faced arrest. The rest of the suspects are inmates serving terms for other crimes.
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