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Russia’s FSB thwarts activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in Crimea

October 11, 8:56 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Criminal proceedings have been instituted against six cell members

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© Anatoliy Medved/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, October 11. /TASS/. Russian law enforcement agencies have thwarted the activities of followers of the Hizb ut-Tahrir terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) in Crimea, the regional department of the Federal Security Service, the FSB, reported on Wednesday.

"The activities of the Bakhchisaray cell of the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami international terrorist organization outlawed in Russia have been thwarted," he FSB said.

It added that criminal proceedings had been instituted against six cell members under Parts 1 and 2 of Section 205.5 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("Organization of the activities of a terrorist organization and participation in the activities of such an organization").

The FSB’s regional department has not disclosed other details in the interests of the investigation. "Law enforcement officials are carrying out a number of special investigative activities," it said.

Background on Hizb ut-Tahrir

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 back Muslims 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.

In 2016, eleven suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir members, who had allegedly taken part in the activities of the organization’s local cells, were detained in Crimea. In February 2016, Mufti of Muslims of Crimea haji Emirali Ablaev said supporters of extremist Islamic sects, including Hizb ut-Tahrir cells, intensified their activities on the peninsula.

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