There has been a spike within the last year or so of Russians joining forces with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It has been estimated that there has been a 300 percent increase within the last year alone of Russians traveling to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS. Over 2,400 Russians are now believed to be affiliated with or a part of this radical Islamist group; there were only 800 at June 2014. With this radical increase in Russian-born ISIS supporters, Russia is now believed to be the third biggest supplier of foreign fighters to radical Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria. The majority of Russia's foreign fighters is coming from Chechnya and Dagestan, where there has been long histories of Islamic extremism.
It has been understood that Russian authorities are encouraging these Russian-born extremists to go to Iraq and Syria because it would be better for them to fight abroad than to stir up trouble within Russia.