FSB: Citizens of over 100 countries fighting for Islamic State

Citizens of over 100 countries are fighting for the Islamic State, an international terrorist organization banned in Russia, says Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov.

Citizens of over 100 countries are fighting for the Islamic State, an international terrorist organization banned in Russia, says Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov.

"Our estimates show that citizens of over 100 countries are currently fighting in its [the Islamic State's] ranks," Bortnikov said in opening an international conference of chiefs of special, security, and law enforcement agencies from countries that are FSB partners in Yaroslavl on July 29.

"The expanding geography of the countries from which new converts come, the growing number of those leaving their places to join the jihad and diversity of their ethnic and social background show that the IS has taken initiative, is acting aggressively at the propaganda front, and is actually imposing its agenda on others," Bortnikov said.

"The international community is often late in giving an appropriate and timely response," he said.

"Taking advantage of this, the Islamists who have consolidated their stand in the Middle East and North Africa are now eying Europe and Asia," he said.

"The thugs have switched from the tactic of pinpoint strikes to full-scale military operations and warfare with the use of heavy types of weapons," Bortnikov said.

"The IS is being financed uninterruptedly owing to seizures of Iraqi and Syrian oil fields and pipelines, illegal trade in energy resources, and sponsor aid from its supporters and patrons from abroad," he said, without specifying what organizations he referred to.

Bortnikov said virtually all international terrorist organizations have websites and "relevant materials are published in over forty languages."

He pointed out to the meeting participants that terrorists are actively using new technologies and software products, which enable them to code their traffic and stay anonymous.

"In this situation, the special services community has a duty to establish effective interaction in the information sphere. Terrorists' call for violence should be timely detected and blocked by the relevant agencies, and Internet sites with such content should be closed," Bortnikov said.

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