Putin thanks Trump for help in foiling attack plot

Moscow (AFP) –


Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked his US counterpart Donald Trump for the CIA's help in foiling a plot to attack the city of Saint Petersburg, the Kremlin said Sunday.

Putin spoke by phone with Trump to thank him for intelligence supplied by the CIA which allowed Russia's FSB security service to break up an Islamic State group cell that was planning a suicide attack on December 16, it said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The FSB announced on Friday it had arrested seven members of a cell that had been planning a suicide attack and "the killing of citizens" in crowded areas of Russia's second city.

Police confiscated a "large number of explosives used to make homemade bombs, automatic rifles, munitions and extremist literature," it said in a statement.

On Tuesday, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said Russia was on alert for the possible return of jihadists from Syria ahead of the World Cup and the presidential election in 2018.

Russia has suffered several assaults in recent years, including an attack in Saint Petersburg that left 14 people dead in April.