Russia's top intelligence officer warns of spread of radical Islam in Middle East and Asia

The situation in the Middle East and Central Asia remains explosive as the combat potential of extremist organizations such as the Taliban, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan remains high in the region, Col. Gen. Igor Sergun, who heads of the Main Intelligence Department of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, has said.

The situation in the Middle East and Central Asia remains explosive as the combat potential of extremist organizations such as the Taliban, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan remains high in the region, Col. Gen. Igor Sergun, who heads of the Main Intelligence Department of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, has said.

"As many as 50,000 militants are currently fighting in Afghanistan alone. The territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan houses a network of training camps for terrorists, including suicide bombers," he told the Fourth International Security Conference in Moscow on Thursday.

The prompt spread of radical Islam ideology is "negatively affecting the situation in South-East Asia," he said.

"In particular, the activities of the Jemaah Islamiyah extremist organization may entail unpredictable consequences because its main goal is to create a theocratic Islamic state to include Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Muslim provinces of Thailand and the Philippines," Sergun said.

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