RealNews

Russia Cracks Down on Banned Islamic Party

Russian authorities have launched a crackdown against an outlawed Islamic party accused of plotting against the government, rounding up 55 leaders and members of the group in the capital in recent days. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, the domestic successor to the KGB, announced that it had found plastic explosives, hand grenades, dynamite and detonator cords during raids aimed at breaking the Moscow branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, or Party of Liberation, which was banned in February for alleged terrorist connections. “We do not have any doubts or illusions about their actions,” FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko said in an interview today. “We had investigative information about their preparations. They were preparing fighters to send to Chechnya” and readying for possible terrorist acts in Moscow. Ignatchenko called them “Muslim brothers” of al Qaeda. Islamic leaders, however, called the roundup the latest persecution of Muslims in Russia and said the government was using the international war on terrorism as an excuse for broader repression. Most of those arrested were from Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. Among them were Alisher Musayev, head of the Moscow branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and Akram Dzhalolov, a leading activist, according to authorities. Full Story

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