Analysis of the News “Moscow: The US is recruiting jihadists for terrorist attacks in Russia”

February 2023

As part of the Regional Initiative in Combating Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Moscow: The US is recruiting jihadists for terrorist attacks in Russia

The Internet portal of the Russian state television Russia Today in Serbian language conveys the announcement of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) in which it is stated that the American army is recruiting jihadists to carry out terrorist attacks on the territory of Russia and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

“According to credible information which was received by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the US military is actively recruiting fighters from jihadist groups linked to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia and the CIS,” the announcement states.

One of the recurring pro-Russian disinformation narratives is exactly about the alleged US and Western support for terrorist organizations. The US is often portrayed as a sponsor of the jihadist organization. However, the USA has been acting as the leader of the Global Coalition against Daesh, and since 2014 has been conducting the anti-terrorist Operation “Inherent Resolve“, which represents an international military intervention against the Islamic State, as well as against terrorists operating on the territory of Syria, Libya and Iraq. The United States of America has also invested massive resources and efforts for years to fight Al-Qaeda.

Further, it is stated that the United States recruited 60 militants in January and that they are conducting training at the US military base Al-Tanf in Syria. “In the near future, the US plans to send them to Russia and other CIS countries as part of small groups. After that, militants will be able to attack diplomats, civil servants, police and members of a military force. At the same time, according to the plan of the US military, they will organize attacks together with underground international terrorist groups, including Hizb ut-Tahrir, Jamaat Ansarullah and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. We are seeing the final loss of any moral principles in the US security forces. Being obsessed with the crazy idea of Russia’s ‘bloodshed’, Washington strategists find it acceptable to directly use terrorists for their dirty purposes,” SVR announced.

There is no evidence that the United States recruited 60 militants, nor any evidence of the above-mentioned US military plan.

The US and the West have never strived to destroy and disintegrate Russia, nor to ‘bloodshed’ Russia. Speaking recently in Warsaw, US President Joe Biden confirmed once again that the goal of the USA is not the destruction of Russia. In his speech, the President also addressed the Russian citizens and stated that “the United States and the nations of Europe do not seek to control or destroy Russia. The West was not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today. And millions of Russian citizens who only want to live in peace with their neighbors are not the enemy.”

One of the obvious goals of disinformation narratives about cooperation between the US and terrorist organizations is to discredit US support to Ukrainian resistance against Russia’s aggression – including financially and weapons supply.

Author: Tanja Plavšić