ROSTOV-ON-DON, May 6 (RIA Novosti) – Law-enforcement officers in Russia’s southern Astrakhan Region said on Monday they had detained seven members of an undisclosed extremist organization and confiscated explosives from them.
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, who 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 [the detainees] 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 organization,” the statement reads.
According to the region’s interior ministry department, 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,” the regional police department said in a statement.
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 ten years in prison.