Uzbek Militant Recruiter Suspect Held in Moscow

MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) – The alleged leader of the Moscow cell of a banned Islamic militant group has been detained, Russian police reported on Monday.

The man, an Uzbek citizen, is suspected of recruiting natives from Uzbekistan and other Central Asia states and sending them to militant training camps in the Afghan-Pakistan area and Arab countries, the police said in a statement.

The detainee, whose name was spelled in Russian as Abdulkhofiz Kholmurodov, was allegedly affiliated with the Islamic Party of Turkestan, banned in Russia since 2006, and headed its Moscow cell.

Kholmurodov, who is wanted outside Russia, used fake ID documents and had a forged Tajikistan passport at the moment of arrest. The police are planning to extradite him to Uzbekistan.

Last month, the police in Moscow Region detained another two Uzbek nationals who had been recruiting for militant training camps in Pakistan, the Interior Ministry said. It is not clear if those men are connected to the latest arrest.

The Islamic Party of Turkestan, which was formed in 1996, seeks to establish an Islamic state in Central Asia.


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