IS sleeper cell uncovered in Dagestan: The National Antiterrorist Committee said on Sunday that police and FSB officers had detained three members of a sleeper cell linked to the Islamic State [banned in Russia] during an operation in the Dagestani town of Derbent. One militant was killed after he opened fire. (ii) Law enforcement officers carried out searches in the house of imam Isa Tsechoyev in Ingushetia's Nazran district on Sunday. (NG, RBC)
Training centre for special forces being set up in Chechnya: Instructors at an international centre for training special forces near Gudermes (Chechnya) trained a military police battalion of the Russian Defense Ministry before it was dispatched to Syria in December 2016. Reportedly, the training centre is planned to be opened in 2018. (RBK)
Six National Guard servicemen killed in militant attack in Chechnya: At least six servicemen of Russia's National Guard were killed and several others were wounded in an attack by militants on a facility of the National Guard's unit stationed in Chechnya early on Friday. The National Antiterrorist Committee said that six attackers had been killed. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax)
RBK daily, 28 March
'How the threat of ISIS affects the geopolitical plans of Moscow'
According to expert Arkady Dubnov, the tragic events on 24 March in the Chechen village of Naurskaya, where, according to official reports, a military unit of Russia's National Guard was attacked, showed once again, how easily the threat by the 'Islamic State' can be used by the authorities for their own purposes.
In spite of a report by Novaya Gazeta showing that the bloodshed resulted from a conflict between Russian military personnel and local residents, Russia's government was fast to take up the announcement of the research organization SITE Intelligence Group, stating that ISIS had taken the responsibility for the attack. Subsequently, the Russian intelligence services had another 'proof for the National Guard being at the forefront of the fight against international terrorism'. At the same time, the real threat coming from the expansion of ISIS is used by Russia to convince its Central Asian neighbors that they were not able to overcome these risks without the help of Russia.