13:58 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Russian Law Enforcers Detain 22 Islamist Group Members From Central Asia

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    Russia's Federal Security Agency (FSB) said Tuesday had detained 22 members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamist group in a joint operation with the Russian Interior Ministry.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Twenty two people were detained Tuesday during a Russian police raid in Moscow on suspicion of having links to an outlawed international Islamist network called Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami.

    "The management of said terrorist structure was carried out by immigrants from the Central Asian region; citizens of the Russian Federation were involved in its activities… Currently, the investigative authorities of Russia's FSB have detained 22 members of said terrorist organization, including its leaders," the agency said in a statement.

    During numerous searches, law enforcement confiscated "extremist literature, means of communication, and electronic data carriers with reports on the terrorist organization's work," the FSB said.

    Hizb ut-Tahrir (Islamic Party of Liberation) is an international Islamist network that positions itself as a political organization. It seeks to unify Muslim countries into one caliphate ruled by strict Islamic law.

    According to Russian investigators, the Moscow-based Hizb ut-Tahrir cell has been focused on recruiting new members and raising funds, "including financial aid for militants."

    Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded in 1953. It is believed to have branched out to 40 countries and runs a regional division in Copenhagen. The radical group is banned in Russia according to a 2003 Supreme Court ruling.


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