The fight against global terrorism, specifically the Islamist State can make for some strange bedfellows and in this case the United States and Russia. The CIA learned of an IS terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Russia and tipped off their Russian FSB counterparts who thwarted the planned terror attack on a cathedral.
Russian President Vladimir Putin personally thanked President Trump for the shared intelligence and expressed gratitude for passing along the information. The sharing of intelligence is noteworthy during this time of the Cold War heating up in many places around the globe. “The enemy of my enemy –can sometimes be– my friend.
Mr Putin asked Mr Trump to thank Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA. He promised that Russia would reciprocate if it acquired information about attacks being prepared in the US. The White House said that Mr Trump had passed on his thanks to Mr Pompeo.
Five men have been arrested over the alleged plot. Shamil Omargadzhiyev and Aliskhan Esmurziyev, both Russian, and Firuz Kalavurov, from Tajikistan, were detained by police in St Petersburg on Thursday and remanded in custody yesterday. They denied the allegations and claimed that weapons were planted on them. Yevgeny Yefimov and Anton Kobets were held earlier.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said that the men were a cell of Islamic State who had received orders from abroad via the Telegram messaging app. It said that one of the men intended to blow himself up in Kazansky Cathedral on Saturday. Other explosives were to be detonated in busy public places.
Video of the arrest of some of the suspects was carried on Russian television. Firearms, explosives-making material, and terrorist literature were found during the raids to arrest the suspects.
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Photo courtesy AP