Underground Islamic groups exposed in Moscow Region

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MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - In 2003-2004, the Federal Security Service (FSB) exposed groups from the Hizb-ut-Tahrir extremist organization operating in the Moscow Region, a senior security official said.

Members of the terrorist organizations Muslim Brothers, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan have been penetrating Russia since 2000. The Federal Security Service has exposed grass-roots structures of these organizations in 50 regions of the country.

"Experts say these organizations will continue to act most actively in Central Asia as they have considerable social support while the economic and political situation in the region continues to be unstable," said Yuri Sapunov, head of the FSB's Anti-terrorism Department.

Because these organizations are very active in the CIS, the FSB has made a proposition to the CIS that envisions coordinated efforts to expose terrorist leaders and activists, find their hideouts and training camps and the channels of their financing.

These organizations stepped up their activities in Central Asia after the United States and allied nations launched their military operation in Afghanistan, Sapunov said.

The extremist movement Hizb-ut-Tahrir was established in the middle of the last century. The organization spread its influence first to Uzbekistan and then to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

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