Suspected militants targeted this week in a deadly raid outside Moscow as they purportedly plotted an attack on the city, received training in the troublesome border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, law enforcement said Tuesday — an allegation that experts called a reminder of the threat posed by Russian radicals coached and sometimes financed from abroad.
Special forces officers killed two men and detained a third in Orekhovo-Zuyevo, about 80 kilometers from Moscow, in the raid Monday, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.
The officers came under fire when they surrounded a house where the suspects were staying and demanded that they surrender. In the ensuing firefight, the officers shot and killed two of the suspects, and captured another, the committee said.
One special forces officer suffered a light wound. There were no civilian casualties.
“The decisive actions of law enforcement agencies foiled an effort to commit a terror attack in the capital,” the committee said in a statement late Monday.
The suspects are Russian citizens who returned from Afghanistan or Pakistan, where they received battle training and prepared to carry out terror attacks, the statement said.
But Agarkov, the terrorism expert, suggested that Russia’s problems were closer to home. Tens of thousands learned the basic skills of terrorism — how to shoot and make a simple bomb — during Moscow’s two bloody wars against separatists in Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s.