Suspected terrorists have been detained by Russian secret services in two cities hosting the FIFA World Cup.
In St Petersburg, close to where the England team will be based for the contest, a police video shows a dramatic raid on seven suspects accused of being in touch with a terrorist recruiter.
Several were wearing just underwear when they were held by a team including a rapid reaction Interior Ministry force and FSB security service agents.
Three men were detained and one killed as intelligence services stormed another suspected terror cell in the city of Rostov-on-Don, where England will play their first match against Tunisia.
A man found at the heart of a suspected ISIS cell in the Rostov-on-Don region of southern Russia, where England will play games in the upcoming FIFA World Cup, is pictured captured by security guards
Raids were also carried out in St Petersburg, another host city for June’s sporting event
Two 21-year-old men from central Asia were charged with preparations for participation in a terrorist organisation’s activity in St Petersburg, said law enforcement sources.
Investigators will apply for the others to be held pending a probe. None of the detained were named.
The group is accused of communicating with a terrorist recruiter using the Telegram messenger app which Russia is in the process of blocking.
They were expected to be sent for training for terrorist attacks, said officials.
Earlier in Rostov-on-Don region, just 290 miles from Volgograd, where England will play their first qualifying game against Tunisia on 18 June, an alleged ISIS cell was ambushed by FSB officers and police.
‘The cell’s leader detonated an explosive device and died while being detained, but three other perpetrators were apprehended,’ said an FSB statement.
Two 21-year-old men (pictured) were found by officers who stormed the property in St Petersburg
Pictured: Men found in a suspected terror cell in St Petersburg in Russia
In St Petersburg, close to where the England team will be based for the contest, a law enforcement video shows a dramatic raid on seven suspects accused of being in touch with a terrorist recruiter
‘The Federal Security Service (FSB) has exposed a clandestine cell of the Islamic State international terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia, whose members were following orders by IS emissaries based in Syria,’ said a spokesman.
They were ‘planning to use firearms and improvised explosive devices to carry out high-impact terrorist attacks in the Rostov region.’
Firearms, a homemade explosive device and munitions were seized from the three detained members of the IS cell, as well as means of communication and electronic data storage devices containing terrorist propaganda materials.
‘During the operation, the cell’s leader put up armed resistance, detonated an identified improvised explosive device and suffered fatal wounds.’
Bullet holes are seen on the windscreen of a car in which the cell were travelling.
An Ak-74 rifle, hand grenades and instructions for making explosive devices were also found.
The FSB has identified terrorism as the main threat to the World Cup.
A man is pictured on the ground after security services caught him allegedly preparing acts of terrorism in Rostov-on-Don