The first deputy head of NAK, Yevgeny Ilyin, told reporters that from 800 to 1,500 members of Russia’s domestic militant group Imarat Kavkaz (Caucasus Emirate) are fighting for the Islamic State and Hizb ut-Tahrir in Syria and Iraq.
Some of them are returning to Russia with “clear tasks” to commit terrorism-related crimes, he said.
In September, the IS published a video threatening Russia and the country's President Vladimir Putin due to his "close ties" with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The footage also showed the jihadists vowing to "liberate" Chechnya and the Caucasus.
The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadist rebel group, which currently controls large territories in Syria and Iraq. The group was formed in 1999, and in 2004 it joined al-Qaeda. The United States Central Intelligence Agency says that around 30,000 militants are fighting for the IS, while Kurdish fighters who are defending the city of Kobani occupied by IS claim that the real number of rebels in the group may be as high as 200,000.
The Hizb ut-Tahir is a pan-Islamic political organization, which is spread across over 40 countries. It believes that establishing an Islamic caliphate across Muslim nations would provide stability in the world. The Hizb ut-Tahir is believed to have plotted and carried out terrorist attacks in several countries in Central Asia. In 2003, the Russian Supreme Court added the group to a list of banned terrorist organizations.