The development, first reported Friday in social media outlets, have also been confirmed by Russian Interior Ministry officials who stated that they had made arrests in the city of Balashikha, nearly 20 kilometers east of the capital Moscow, but did not elaborate, RT reported.
The suspects were taken into custody at a mosque on the city’s Pervomayskaya Street, where elements affiliated with the notorious terror network were allegedly distributing pro-ISIL propaganda materials and “hiring recruits,” the report added citing a post on the Balashikha community’s Facebook page.
A mosque employee, however, was further cited in the report as saying that Russian security officials merely checked “worshipers’ documents” and released everyone.
The development comes as Russian intelligence services have recently recorded a major surge in the number of Russian citizens recruited by elements of the foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists, who have waged a brutal terror campaign against the Arab states of Syria and Iraq, overrunning swaths of land in a bid to establish their radical brand of Takfiri authority.
This is while Director of Anti-terrorist Center of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Andrey Novikov, was quoted as saying in an Interfax report last month that there were between 2,000 and 5,000 Russian citizens engaged in armed battles along with ISIL terrorists in the Middle East.
According to the report, there have been cases of ISIL’s attempts to recruit Russian students, including the recent incident involving Lomonosov Moscow State University philosophy student Varvara Karaulova. She was caught last month while attempting to cross the Turkey-Syria border in a bid to join the terror group, together with 13 other Russian citizens.
The report further cited a document published by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation as estimating that since January some 20,000 foreign nationals from nearly 100 countries have been engaged in fighting for various Takfiri militant groups in the Middle East, including ISIL.
According to the study, nearly one-fifth of the recruits came from Western Europe, with Britain and Germany topping the list. Other nations, whose influx of radicals exceeds 1,000 people, include Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.