In statement delivered at the 46th meeting of the Council of Heads of Security Agencies and Special Services of CIS member nations in Dushanbe, Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, revealed on May 21 that about 5,000 members of terrorist groups are concentrated in northern Afghanistan along its common border with the CIS member nations. 

"The deployment of terrorist groups to Afghanistan’s northern provinces bordering the CIS states is especially alarming," FSB chief stressed.

"The Islamic State (IS) terror group’s branch Wilayah Khorasan already deployed about 5,000 militants in these areas. They are mostly CIS citizens who fought in Syria," Alexander Bortnikov was cited as saying by Russian media outlets. 

The build-up of terrorist forces is escalating tensions in the Central Asian region, he said.  "They are constantly infiltrating into the CIS nations and joining local organized crime groups.  Cross-border drug, arms and illegal migration flows are also growing,” the FSB chief noted, adding that these revenues are used to replenish the terrorists’ resource base and extend their combat capabilities

“Members of international terrorist organizations use refugee and labor migration flows for covert movement from combat zones and countries bordering them to other regions," the FSB head said.  “The terrorists are infiltrating into national expatriate communities and associations of fellow-countrymen, creating clandestine cells and idiologizing and recruiting new supporters, chiefly the socially handicapped youth and migrants, training them to carry out terrorist activities.”

The FSB director called for strengthening the bordering infrastructure (chiefly along the CIS external borders), increasing the level of cooperation on joint operative-investigative operations in migration flows, strengthening the fight against terrorist ideology, in particular on the Internet, as well as carrying out joint work to counter channels of Afghan drug and arms trafficking as countermeasures.