The number of terrorism-related crimes in Russia halved to 365 in 2011 from 779 in 2010, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said Wednesday.
“The actions of the National Anti-terrorism Committee contributed to the decrease of the terrorist activity in Russia,” Bortnikov said, adding that the number of terrorist crimes that include apart from terrorist attacks, diversions and attacks on law enforcers, fell to 365 in 2011 from 779 in 2010.
A total number of terrorist attacks, carried out in Russia in 2011, were ten, while in 2010 there were 23 terrorist attacks, Nadezhda Shilova of the National Anti-Terrosrism Committee said.
Bortnikov said that a number of notorious terrorist attacks had been uncovered, including a deadly blast in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in January 2011, the attack on the Baksan hydropower plant in Kabardino-Balkaria in July 2010 as well as several attacks on police officials.
The Head of the Security Service also said that there are special centers in the North Caucasus republics that help former criminals to adapt to a life outside of terrorism.
“Forty-nine people have been convinced to quit terrorist activity,” Bortnikov said, adding that the anti-terrorism commission was currently working with over 90 people.
The FSB chief also said that almost 50 gang leaders, including two Al Qaeda envoys were eliminated in the North Caucasus in 2011.
Almost 300 active gang leaders in the North Caucasus were also killed, Bortnikov said.
Sporadic terrorist attacks and militant clashes are common in Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.
The Kremlin has pledged to wage "a ruthless fight" against militant groups but also acknowledged a need to tackle unemployment, organized crime, clan rivalry and corruption as causes of the ongoing violence in the region.
Russia has been fighting militants in the North Caucasus for over a decade, including two separatist wars in Chechnya.