The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has discovered an Islamic State (IS) cell near Ukraine’s capital of Kiev, which was allegedly led by a combatant wanted for participating in combat in Syria
According to the statement released by the SBU, the cell’s leader arrived in Ukraine in 2019 and used forged documents to enter the country.
After his arrival, he is accused of gathering a group of foreigners with extremist views to build his cell.
The SBU determined that the IS cell forged Ukrainian and Russian passports and focused on legalizing the residence of individuals from the Middle East and Central Asia in Ukraine. The investigators claim that several of the men are active IS fighters.
“According to the plan of the leaders of the international terrorist organization, they wanted to hide out in Ukraine after committing crimes elsewhere,” the SBU wrote in its report.
Members of the cell also distributed extremist material among potential supporters.
As part of the investigation, the SBU conducted nine searches on the terrorist organization. During the searches, they found explosive material containing TNT, a grenade and notes, including information on financial transfers to Syria.
Among the individuals under investigation, IS symbols and religious-extremist materials were found along with documented conversations with other IS combatants abroad concerning a return to Syria to continue fighting.