15 May 2019 11:05

Afghanistan is main source of terrorism in SCO zone - Patrushev

BISHKEK. May 15 (Interfax) - Afghanistan remains the main source of terrorism in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) zone, according to Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

The activity of international terrorist organizations is the primary security risk faced by the SCO member states, Patrushev said at the 14th annual meeting of Security Council secretaries of the SCO member states.

"Terrorists view the SCO member states, first and foremost, Central Asian countries, as a source of new recruits and an area for spreading radicalized Islamist ideology," he said.

"The main source of terrorism in the SCO zone is the territory of Afghanistan. The situation in that country keeps degrading. The government is losing influence as a competent political management center. Foreign businesses are leaving the country. Foreign investors are significantly reducing financial support to its economy," Patrushev said.

ISIL (an international terrorist organization banned in Russia) is the biggest threat, "considering high-profile terror attacks it has been staging in Afghanistan," he said.

"To our knowledge, from 2,500 to 4,000 fighters aligned with ISIL are operating in this country," Patrushev said.