MOSCOW - Russia's top security official said on Monday that authorities had detained four men from the volatile North Caucasus who were allegedly planning a "large terrorist attack" in or near Moscow.
"Literally several days ago ... a large terrorist attack was averted at the preparation stage in the Moscow area," Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov told President Dmitry Medvedev in televised comments.
Bortnikov said the suspects had planned to target "crowded facilities and transport infrastructure" and that security officers had confiscated homemade bombs, other weapons and a map with a plan for the alleged attack.
Russian authorities frequently claim to have averted attacks by militants based in the North Caucasus, where they are fighting against Islamic insurgents, but claims to have foiled large-scale planned strikes targeting Moscow are more rare.
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