Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked his US counterpart Donald Trump on the phone for “information transmitted by the CIA” to Russia that helped to thwart a planned attack in St. Petersburg (north-west), announced Sunday the Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin “thanked his American counterpart for intelligence transmitted by the CIA”, which allowed “to put on the track, discover and apprehend a terrorist group that was preparing” attacks in the second city of Russia, according to a Kremlin statement .
“The information received by the CIA proved sufficient for the detection, search and arrest of the criminals,” says the Kremlin.
According to his statement, the terrorists were planning “explosions in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan and other popular places in the city”.
The Russian intelligence service (FSB) announced Friday that it had dismantled a cell of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group that was preparing to carry out attacks on December 16 in St. Petersburg. A total of seven people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to the FSB, which stated that it had seized “a large number of explosives (…), automatic weapons and ammunition”, the group was planning a “suicide bombing” as well as “killings and explosions in very popular areas. ”
On the phone, Vladimir Putin asked Donald Trump “to convey his gratitude to the director of the CIA and the operational staff of the US intelligence services.”
The Russian president added that “the Russian special services, if they receive information on terrorist risks related to the United States and their citizens, will immediately transmit them to their American colleagues”.
Russia was hit by several bombings this year, including one in April in the St. Petersburg metro that killed 14 people.
Russian intelligence agencies are worried about the return of jihadists who fought in Syria, where IS lost its positions thanks to Russia’s military support for the Damascus regime.