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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Patrushev Braces for Long Battle

The killing of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev has not brought an end to attacks in the North Caucasus, and law enforcement agencies face a protracted battle against terrorism in the area, Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev said Tuesday.

"I want to point out that the threat of terrorism in Russia has not been eliminated," Patrushev said. "We cannot say that the threat in the North Caucasus has been quelled. We will be dealing with this for a long time to come," he said in comments carried by Interfax.

Patrushev said al-Qaida continued to operate in Russia despite the efforts of the FSB and other law enforcement agencies to dismantle terrorist networks in the North Caucasus and elsewhere.

All law enforcement agencies must cooperate to prevent attacks before they happen, Patrushev said. "This is a difficult task, but it can be done," he said. The FSB has claimed credit for killing Basayev, Russia's most-wanted terrorist, earlier this month.

Patrushev will chair a session of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee in Tomsk on Thursday. An FSB spokesman declined to comment on the agenda for the meeting. The committee, which is led by the FSB, coordinates the anti-terrorist operations of key government agencies nationwide.

Also Tuesday, North Ossetian Interior Minister Sergei Arenin said local FSB agents and police had thwarted a terrorist attack in the region, Interfax reported. Agents detained three North Ossetian residents Friday. The three planned to detonate a powerful bomb in Vladikavkaz, Arenin said.