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MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) together with the Interior Ministry thwarted the activities of a group affiliated with the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization outlawed in Russia, the FSB press service told TASS. According to the press service, one of the group’s leaders and its two members were detained.
"On March 28, the FSB together with the Interior Ministry carried out an operation in the Moscow and Penza regions aimed at thwarting the activities of an undercover group affiliated with the Party of Islamic Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami), an international terrorist organization," the FSB said.
The FSB press service pointed out that on February 14, 2003, Russia’s Supreme Court had banned Hizb ut-Tahrir, designating it as a terrorist organization in accordance with the country’s laws.
"During searches conducted while investigating into a case previously launched by the FSB, three members of this group, including one of its leaders, were detained," the press service elaborated.
Besides, religious and propaganda literature, means of communications and electronic data carriers were seized, as well as other material evidence proving the illicit activities of the banned organization.
Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (the Party of Islamic Liberation) is an international religious and political organization founded in 1953. Its goal is to remove all non-Islamic governments and bring Muslims back to the "truly Islamic way of life".
Russia’s Supreme Court banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003 designating it as a terrorist organization.
In April 2016, Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea’s then Prosecutor-General who is currently a member of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament), told TASS that a Hizb ut-Tahrir cell had operated in Crimea for many years. The organization was not outlawed when Crimea was part of Ukraine.
As TASS reported earlier, in 2016, eleven suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir members, who had allegedly taken part in the activities of the organization’s local cells, were arrested in Crimea. Two of them have already been sentenced in the city of Rostov-on-Don.
Five more, arrested on October 13, have been charged under Article 205.5 of the Russian Criminal Code (Participation in the activities of a terrorist organization).