Russian Intelligence Chief Says Terrorists Use Telegram’s ‘Secret Chats’

Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), announced on Wednesday that terrorists groups are using secret chats on the instant messenger Telegram to coordinate their efforts.

While speaking at a security conference for intelligence agencies in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Bortnikov said FSB agents have obtained evidence that terrorists communicate through closed groups on Telegram, according to the news agency RIA Novosti.

“We have information about specific terrorists and criminal connections inside Russia and Central Asian countries using [these] communications, and we’ve discovered [some of] their plans and probable locations,” Bortnikov said.

Earlier on Wednesday, lawmakers in the State Duma introduced draft legislation that would ban anonymous instant messenger accounts and place other new restrictions on apps like Telegram and WhatsApp. The law would also empower the federal censor to restrict messengers from allowing mass mailings that contain information outlawed in Russia.