An audio message purportedly released by the Islamic State (IS) on Monday, June 12, calls on members to carry out attacks on a specific group of countries during the remainder of the holy month of Ramadan, which ends on June 25. In the message - which has yet to be independently authenticated - a man whose voice reportedly matches that of IS spokesman Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer instructs members to carry out attacks in Russia as well as in Iraq, Syria, Iran, the United States, Australia, the Philippines, and Europe.
As such, heightened security measures are possible in cities and throughout the Russian Caucasus.
In recent years, IS, as well as other groups, have called on their fighters to perpetrate attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which the group has called a "holy month of jihad." So far during Ramadan in 2017, attacks have been carried out in London, Baghdad, and Tehran, killing dozens.
The threat of terrorism is significant in Russia due largely to the tense political context in the North Caucasus region as well as the country's involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Individuals in Russia are advised to exercise vigilance, report any suspicious objects or behavior to the local authorities (particularly when in crowded places), to cooperate with authorities, and always carry appropriate identification.
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