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Moscow: Signs of ISIS, Qaeda ‘Imminent Merger’ Detected

Moscow: Signs of ISIS, Qaeda ‘Imminent Merger’ Detected

Thursday, 8 November, 2018 - 10:45
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Reuters
Moscow - Raed Jaber
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) warned of signs of an “imminent merge” between ISIS and al-Qaeda, saying a potential union would create additional terror activity risks for the world.

The success of the Syrian regime forces backed by Russian warplanes and the US-led international coalition, has buried ISIS efforts to establish a false Islamic state in the Middle East, FSB Head Alexander Bortnikov said at the opening of the 17th meeting of the of the heads of the country’s special services, security agencies and law enforcement bodies held in Moscow.

He pointed out that Qaeda and ISIS “could unite their potentials,” warning of what he described as “negative consequences” that might result from that merge.

The Russian official explained despite previous armed clashes between the terrorist organizations, there are many cases of elements joining fighting alongside both groups’ ranks.

“There are a number of signs indicating their possible merger,” he reiterated.

The defeat of the terrorists on so many fronts forced them to seek new ways to carry out their activities, including expanding their presence and deploying their militants to other countries.

Both groups are known to have moved militants to countries in Europe, North Africa, South-East Asia and Afghanistan, increasing tensions in Central Asia.

“Both organizations use a similar ideological basis and common manpower for replenishing each other’s units,” Bortnikov stressed.

In addition to the heads of the Russian security services, 125 delegates from 80 countries and representatives of the United Nations, the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) confirmed that signs of rapprochement between the two organizations are showing in their affiliated media outlets and social network spaces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed the terrorist groups' efforts to set up recruitment networks and sleeper cells in different countries.

“Despite a considerable success in the fight against ISIS and other groups, terrorists still constitute the most serious threat for all countries,” he said.

“They adapt to the changing reality and diversify sources of financial and material-technical support for their activity, including through links with drug business and organized crime.”

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