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Armed conflict in Syria activates destructive forces in Middle East -- FSB chief

The armed conflict in Syria has stepped up destructive forces in the Middle East and a similar situation is taking shape on the Afghan-Pakistani border, the chief of Russia's federal security service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, said at the ongoing meeting of the heads of secret services and security agencies which partnership relations with the FSB.

Bortnikov said that al-Qaeda continued to pose a terrorist threat, and ever more radical Islamists from Europe, Central Asia, Transcaucasia and Russia were joining underground militant groups in Syria.

"After crash courses at special training camps, the militants become actively involved in hostilities. When such persons, experienced in staging acts of sabotage and creating undercover networks, return to their home countries, this results in the further proliferation and actualization of the terrorism threat," Bortnikov said. He recalled that a similar situation was taking shape in the Afghan-Pakistani zone, where such terrorist groups as Taliban, the Islamic Party of Turkestan and the movement of Pakistan's Talibs (Tehrik-i-Taliban) have considerably built up their potential.

"In view of the forthcoming pullout of the coalition forces from Afghanistan, the risk of destabilization in neighboring countries is soaring. Some of them, first and foremost, those in the Central-Asian region, have already seen growing activity of international Islamic gangs," Bortnikov said.

He described terrorism as a lasting transnational criminal phenomenon. In North Africa terrorist attacks have become more frequent. Last year alone 70 African countries witnessed terrorist attacks.

[Source: Itar Tass, Sochi, 09Apr14]

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