Waging war on terrorists ... Vladimir Putin. Photo: Reuters
Russian police detained six members of a banned Islamic group who were distributing extremist literature in mosques in Moscow and seized an arsenal of weapons including grenades and guns.
The group, the Party of Islamic Revival, was banned as a terrorist organization by the Supreme Court, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on its website today.
President Vladimir Putin vowed in August to combat Islamic extremists, who have been waging increasing attacks in Russia's mainly Muslim southern regions. The violence spread also to Tatarstan, in central Russia, where militants wounded the top Muslim cleric and killed his deputy in July.
Police battling an Islamist insurgency in North Caucasus regions are using heavy-handed security tactics that are exacerbating grievances linked to unemployment and corruption, according to Alexei Malashenko, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Russia has suffered a series of terrorist attacks in recent years. A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic militants at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, the busiest air hub in Russia, killed at least 37 people in January 2011.