Seven extremists held in Russia

Moscow, May 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Seven members of an undisclosed extremist organisation have been detained and explosives confiscated from them in Russia’s southern Astrakhan region, officials said.

According to a statement posted on the website of the Investigative Committee’s Astrakhan region department, officers detained 29-year-old Takhir Dzhaksibekov and six other unnamed men.

The committee said they were “active members of an international religious association, declared extremist and banned in Russia by a Russian Supreme Court ruling on May 7, 2009”.

“They supported members of illegal armed groups active in the Middle East and North Caucasus republics, spread the ideas of ‘global jihad’ among Astrakhan region residents, and publicly called for terrorist activities, thus recruiting new members. As a result, local residents were drawn into the activities of a banned religious organisation,” the statement read.

According to the regional interior ministry, a joint operation between the police, Federal Security Service (FSB) and investigators led to the arrests of seven people aged between 19 and 36.

“Law-enforcers conducted nine searches, seizing blocks of TNT, a detonator, wires, cartridges for a Kalashnikov assault rifle and literature of an extremist nature,” police said.

All the suspects have been placed under arrest and criminal cases have been opened against them on charges of illegal possession of weapons, incitement of terrorism activities and inciting hatred. The charges carry more than 10 years in prison.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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