A plot to assassinate Vladimir Putin has been foiled in Serbia, after police arrested an armed ‘jihadist’ ahead of the Russian President’s state visit to Belgrade tomorrow, according to dailymail.co.uk.
Armin Alibašić, 21, is suspected of being an ISIS supporter and was in possession of a cache of weapons and explosives upon his arrest in the Serbian city of Novi Pazar, according to reports .
A report attributed to the Serbian intelligence agency BIA said ‘he was preparing a terrorist attack specifically at the time of the Russian leader’s visit’.
Details were not immediately clear of how any attempt was to have been carried out.
Putin was ‘a target for terrorists because of the war that Russia carries against ISIS,’ said the BIA source.
‘Our forces together with Russian colleagues are well prepared and keep the situation under control, and the president of Russian Federation will be totally safe.’
One report said: ‘Alibašić was stopped by a police patrol in the village of Potok not far from Novi Pazar.
‘Police attention was attracted by a young man’s backpack. As a result, a rifle with an optical sight was detected.’
His apartment was searched by police and security services.
They found ‘an arsenal of weapons and all the necessary components for the manufacture of an explosive device, as well as the symbols of ISIS’.
The man was described as a Wahhabi. There were suspicions he was not acting alone, according to reports.
The claim was carried by Russian state newspaper Rossikaya Gazeta and other major Moscow outlets.
Ahead of his visit, Putin had hailed close relations between Serbia and Russia.