Commission of a foiled major act of terrorism in Southern Russia was apparently ordered in Saudi Arabia, informed sources in the North Caucasus branch of Russia's FSB domestic security service disclosed to RIA Novosti.
Law enforcement agencies have also identified the parties that were to actually perpetrate the terrorist act, which was being plotted in a city in the southern Russian Stavropol Region. Intelligence obtained by operatives suggests the terrorists whose task was to carry out the attack have gone into hiding in Chechnya. The suspects have been put on the wanted list.
On July 19, the regional FSB branch and prosecutors of the Stavropol Region carried out a joint operation in which a truck carrying a tank of liquefied gas was found in an enclosed bay in a parking garage in the town of Nevinnomyssk.
Furthermore, the truck was found to contain an 800-kg bag of aluminum powder and ammonium nitrate, plus 2 kg of plastic explosive as part of an explosive device. The bomb was wired to the bottom of the vehicle.
Explosive technicians estimate that car bomb could have wiped out everything within 500 m, if detonated.
The regional prosecutor's office has launched a criminal investigation into the find, which it believes may result in charges of conspiring to commit a criminal offence and of terrorism.
No other details have been released yet.
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On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign