Russian police are inspecting thousands of its 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteers for terrorist links.
Terrorist groups have threatened to stage attacks during the June 14-July 15 World Cup in Russia. Last year, a pro-Islamic State media outlet circulated a poster of Argentine forward Lionel Messi crying tears of blood with the caption “You are fighting a state that does not have failure in its dictionary.”
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“Volunteers are being inspected, including for involvement in terrorist activities,” Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.
Some 6,000 volunteers will help fans navigate transportation, health and other facilities in Russia as it prepares to host the football championship this summer.
Zubov said a “Russian football resource center” has been set up for law enforcement bodies to gather data on “risk groups” among fans.