Police detain 14 radical Islamists in Moscow: Report

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's Interior Ministry said on Wednesday its agents had detained 14 radical Islamists in Moscow who belonged to a banned offshoot of the Al-Qaeda terror network.

The ministry said members of Takfir wal-Hijra - a group formed in Egypt in the 1960s and outlawed in Russia in 2010 - had been discovered hiding weapons and explosives in their apartments but provided few other details.

It said the group had been funding its activities by "conducting general crime".

Takfir wal-Hijra was quashed in Egypt in the 1970s but is believed to have cells linked to Al-Qaeda in several European and other countries.

Russia remains on heightened alert ahead of the Feb 7 to Feb 23 Winter Olympic Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi that lies near the volatile North Caucasus region.

A top guerrilla commander in the North Caucasus who has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly suicide bombings in Moscow has threatened to target the Sochi Games.