300 Muslims Detained in Moscow Amid Security Crackdown

June 9, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

300 Muslims were detained at a prayer room in Moscow on Friday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a crackdown on radical Islamists in the country.

Putin initiated the crackdown ahead of the Sochi Olympics next year.

On Friday, he told a team of security force officers that the “fight against corruption, crime and the insurgency has to be carried out harshly and consistently,” according to Reuters. “We must fight back hard against extremists who, under the banners of radicalism, nationalism and separatism, are trying to split our society,” Putin added.

The raid that took place on Friday was the third one in Russia that targeted Muslim places of worship this year.

Putin also said that the relatively restive “situation in the North Caucasus should be kept under particular control.”

Friday’s raid led to the detention of around 300 people, including 170 foreigners.

While plans for the Sochi Olympics are underway, a prominent Russian opposition figure claimed that officials have stolen billions of dollars during the preparations.

Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister who recently started criticizing the Kremlin, told The Associated Press last week that up to $30 billion has been stolen.

Russia originally announced that the Sochi Games would cost $12 billion, but within six years, the figure ballooned to $51 billion.

“We account this irregularity for corruption, fraud, sloppiness and unprofessionalism,” Nemtsov said.