Russia detains suspected ISIS financier who may have been in Istanbul

A Russian national suspected of transferring almost $800,000 to the Islamic State (ISIS) may have been in Istanbul.

Russia ‘s Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Georgy Guyev (26) on suspicion of financially supporting an outlawed extreme Islamist organization, according to a report published on Thursday by the Russian Investigative Committee.

Among the belongings which were seized during the raid on Guyev’s apartment was an Istanbul Card, an all-round public transportation boarding pass used in Istanbul.

Guyev is suspected of facilitating a terrorist activity by transferring at least 50 million rubles (approximately $770,000) to ISIS, an internationally designated terrorist organization as well as to Israil Akhmednabiyev, also known as Abu Umar Sasitlinsky, the founder of the Islamic foundation Muhajiroun. He is also wanted for terrorism.

According to the joint investigation, conducted by the FSB, the Investigative Committee, the Interior Ministry and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service from January 2015 to May 2019, Guyev raised funds by using bank cards and provided financial services for plotting and committing terrorism-related crimes.

In the raid on Guyev’s apartment, bank cards, mobile phones with instructions from ISIS coordinators, extremist literature, and a boarding pass for public transportation in Istanbul were seized.

According to feedback from the Russian Investigative Committee, a criminal case has been opened with Guyev facing charges of supporting terrorist activity and the probe into the case has been going on.

In the released communique, there is no mentioning about whether the suspect had ever gone to Istanbul or for what purpose, if he had gone.

Guyev, who is reportedly from Russia’s North Ossetia-Alania Region is being detained and pre-trial restrictions will be imposed on him.

In the North Caucasus, some militants, who posted an Internet video in June 2015, pledging allegiance to ISIS, have mounted frequent attacks against police, public officials, and moderate Muslims.

Russian authorities estimate some 2,000 citizens, mostly from the North Caucasus, have been fighting alongside ISIS in Syria.

ISIS, or Daesh with its Arabic acronym, declared a self-proclaimed “caliphate” in 2014 and took control of large parts of Syria and Iraq. The caliphate has since collapsed.

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