Twenty members of the radical Islamic organization Tablighi Jamaat have been arrested in Chita, Siberia, a Federal Security Service spokesman said on Monday.
"The leader of the group was caught while conducting a religious meeting. More than 20 followers of the movement were arrested, including foreigners who were in violation of migration law," the spokesman said, adding that extremist literature was found at the scene.
The court of Chita has already opened a criminal case into the setting up an extremist organization.
Tablighi Jamaat was founded in India as an independent movement and for two decades has spread its activities to Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The group's main aim is the spiritual revival of its members.
Members of Tablighi Jamaat were accused of involvement in Muslim terrorist organizations after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Many countries, including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan have already banned the movement, which was outlawed in Russia in 2009, after the Supreme Court ruled that the organization sought to destroy the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, discriminated against Russian citizens, and gave support to international terrorist organizations.
The movement remains active in traditionally Islamic Central Asian states. On March 10, the top court of Tajikistan found 56 Tablighi Jamaat followers guilty of extremist activities.
CHITA, March 15 (RIA Novosti)