C.I.A. Helped Thwart Terrorist Attack in Russia, Kremlin Says

C.I.A. Helped Thwart Terrorist Attack in Russia, Kremlin Says
Photo

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at an annual news conference in Moscow last week. Credit Pool photo by Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin called President Trump on Sunday to thank him for the work of the Central Intelligence Agency in helping prevent an Islamic State attack in the northern Russian city of St. Petersburg.

In rare words of praise for the C.I.A., Mr. Putin said the agency had provided information that “helped detain terrorists planning explosions,” the Kremlin said in a statement posted on its website. The attackers planned to strike crowded sites including Kazan Cathedral, one of St. Petersburg’s landmark Orthodox Christian churches, the statement said.

“The information received from the C.I.A. was sufficient to search for and detain criminals,” the statement said. “The head of the Russian state asked the American president to convey words of thanks to the director of the C.I.A. and the American intelligence officers who received this information.”

The Kremlin announcement offered no details on what information the C.I.A. had forwarded to the Federal Security Service, the main successor agency to the K.G.B. American intelligence agencies typically view the Russian agency as an adversary, even while cooperating in counterterrorism operations.

During the call, Mr. Putin assured Mr. Trump that Russian intelligence agencies would similarly share information about terrorist threats to the United States, the Kremlin statement said.

Earlier, Russian media had reported the takedown of a terrorist cell in St. Petersburg without noting the tip from the C.I.A. The Federal Security Service, which is also known as the F.S.B., detained seven suspects who planned a wave of bombings, the Interfax news agency reported.

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