04/17/2015, 00.00
TAJIKISTAN – RUSSIA
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Tajikistani arrested in Moscow for recruiting young people to fight for Islamic state

The accused, Husein Odinamahmadov, allegedly recruited young men for jihad in the Middle East. In Kazakhstan, three men are convicted for a similar crime. Two teenagers are jailed for spreading terrorist ideas and membership in the Islamic state group.

Dushanbe (AsiaNews) – Tajikistani authorities have confirmed the arrest in Moscow of a Tajikistani national for recruiting fellow countrymen to fight with the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

An official source at the Shahritous District administration (Khatlon province, south-western Tajikistan) said that a local man – Husein Odinamahmadov, also known as Qori Husein – was detained in Moscow last month on suspicion of recruiting young Tajikistanis for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Odinamahmadov was extradited to Tajikistan and is currently held in a detention centre in Qurghon Teppa, the capital of Khatlon province.

He reportedly recruited three Tajik nationals and sent them to Turkey for travel to Syria.

A spokesperson for law enforcement authorities in Khatlon confirmed the information about his arrest but refrained from giving further details. 

He just said that criminal proceedings have been launched against Odinamahmadov and that the State Committee for National Security (SCNS)’s office in Khatlon carried out a preliminary investigation.

Odinamahmadov’s arrest highlights how IS terrorists are recruiting young Muslims.

Recently, another Tajikistani national managed to escape from Turkey where he had been brought through deception to fight with terrorists in Syria. He had been recruited in Moscow.

He told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the extremists wanted to kill “infidels, Jews, and Shi'as".

Some observers recently estimated that 2,000 to 4,000 Central Asians have travelled to Syria during the last three years to join militants. Other reports indicate that more are planning to do the same.

A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Oral sentenced three local residents to 3 and half years on charges of attempting to join Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq.

The West Kazakhstan regional prosecutor's office yesterday said that the three men had tried to cross the border illegally from Kazakhstan into Russia and were planning to participate in Islamic militant operations abroad. Kazakh border guards had detained the men in November 2014.

On Wednesday, a court in Atyrau (western Kazakhstan), sentenced two teenagers to five years in prison on charges of promoting terrorism and trying to join the IS group.

Kazakh authorities and most Central Asian Muslim religious leaders have expressed concern about the growing appeal of extremist ideas among young people.

To this regard, the highest Muslim authorities in the region reiterated the need for a radical reform of religious education to spread the "True Islam [which] has always opposed extremism and the killing of innocents”.

To counter radical ideas among young people, Tajikistan decided to ban pilgrimages to Mecca (hajj) for all those under 35 years.

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