Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked his US counterpart Donald Trump for help in averting a terrorist attack by Islamic State on Kazan Cathedral, one of the most iconic landmarks in St. Petersburg, and a series of attacks on public places in that city, Russian media reports.
The attack on the cathedral was allegedly planned to take place on Saturday.
Putin said Russia would reciprocate if they come upon data on any planned terrorist attacks on US soil. He requested Trump to convey his compliments to CIA director Mike Pompeo as well as those who gathered the information about the terrorists.
Seven IS suspects were arrested on Friday over the St Petersburg plot last weekend. During the raid prior to the arrest, the Federal Security Service (FSB) seized a large amount of explosives, weapons and ammunition and dismantled a bomb-making workshop. The members of the cell had coordinated their plans with IS masterminds abroad.
An FSB video shows one of the suspects confessing to preparing the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg.
“I was supposed to make the explosives and… pack them into bottles with projectiles attached,” he says.
The video also shows FSB operatives detaining a suspect at a shipping container that was supposedly used as a bomb-making workshop and raiding an apartment where explosives, assault weapons, ammunition and Islamist literature were found.
Earlier this week, FSB uncovered a terrorist plan with IS links to launch bomb attacks during New Year celebrations and the upcoming presidential election campaign.
St. Petersburg has been on the police radar after a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive in a car killing 16 and injuring dozens. An explosion on St Petersburg’s metro system in April killed at least 13 people and is linked to jihadists.