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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Islamic Extremists Tied to Matviyenko Plot

Two men arrested last week by the Federal Security Service on suspicion of plotting to kill St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko are members of the banned radical Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Both men are residents of the Leningrad Region who only recently converted to Islam, the Trud newspaper reported Tuesday. Investigators from the agency have discovered "certain papers" proving that the suspects were plotting to kill Matviyenko, as well large stocks of ammunition, the newspaper said.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir is a group that advocates the creation of an Islamic state but claims to reject violence. It has been outlawed in a number of countries, including Russia and Uzbekistan.

In an interview published Tuesday in Izvestia, FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev confirmed that the men were suspected of plotting to kill Matviyenko, 58, and that they were in possession of two hand grenades and more than 500 grams of explosives when they were detained on Wednesday.