Security forces arrested a man in the Serbian city of Novi Pazar for planning a terrorist attack on President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Belgrade.
Reuters reported that the 21-year-old Armin Alibashich, is a member of the Saudi-funded group Dava Tim Centar.
He was arrested in the Serbian city of Novi Pazar on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, the Serbian news outlet Blic confirmed.
Alibashich was allegedly stopped while carrying a suspicious backpack containing a rifle with an optic sight. A search of his home revealed parts of improvised bombs and symbols related to the terrorist group ISIS.
Putin will be visiting Belgrade on Thursday at the invitation of his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic. The suspect was arrested on Sunday in south-western Serbia, according to several Serbian media reports.
According to media reports, Serbian security services had information about his links to a radical Islamist movement that is said to be active around Novi Pazar and was in contact with individuals who had been planning a trip to Syria.
The Serbian tabloid Informer quoted sources in Serbia’s special services to suggest that Alibashich was planning to carry out a terrorist attack while Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting Serbia. The possibility that he would have targeted Putin himself has not been ruled out.
Serbia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that maximal security measures will be in force during Putin’s visit, including road closures in certain neighbourhoods around Belgrade.