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FSB says stopped 71 foreign intelligence agents in 2007

RIA Novosti

19/12/2007 22:20 MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Federal Security Service terminated the activities of 22 staff members and 71 agents working for foreign intelligence agencies in 2007, its director said Wednesday.

Nikolai Patrushev also said 11 foreign intelligence officers had been caught red-handed. He added that three Russian nationals had been jailed on state treason charges.

Patrushev said Baltic nations have intensified their intelligence activities against Russia.

"Foreign intelligence services, primarily in the Baltic nations, intensified their [intelligence] activities against Russia in 2007," Patrushev told a meeting with Russian media heads.

He said foreign security agencies were mostly interested in the country's political and socio-economic development, adding that parliamentary election campaigns had increased their interest.

Patrushev, who also chairs the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, said the number of terrorist attacks in Russia in 2007 more than halved compared with last year's figures.

"Against the backdrop of an increasing terrorist threat in the world, this year we managed to considerably lower its level in Russia," he said, adding that the number of terrorist acts committed in Russia in 2005 was 257, in 2006 it was 112, and in 2007, the figure was 41.

Patrushev said the criminal activities of over 500 militants were stopped in the North Caucasus, adding that over 200 arms caches had been discovered and destroyed there.

The Russian security chief said the FSB managed to prevent losses of 13 billion rubles ($526 million) to the Russian economy in 2007.

Patrushev said Russian border guards detained over 6,000 people at Russian state borders in 2007. He said about 1.5 tons of illicit drugs were seized this year.

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