Russian cops bust banned radical Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat's 'training camp,' detain leaders & participants
Seven members of a hardline Islamic organization were arrested in Moscow on Wednesday, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB). They are charged with disseminating extremist propaganda and trying to recruit new supporters.
Tablighi Jamaat, which means the Outreach Society or the Society for Spreading Faith, is banned in Russia. Its philosophy is based around the idea that Muslims should revert to practicing their faith as it was done in the 7th century, when the Prophet Mohammed himself lived. It particularly focuses on styles of dress, personal behavior, and forms of ritual.
"Three leaders and four active members of a conspiratorial cell who were conducting a training camp for members of the organization were detained," the FSB said in a statement. It further accused them of "undermining the foundations of Islam," while confirming the detained were natives of Central Asia.
The Tablighi Jamaat group was formed in 1927 in India and is influenced by Wahhabism, a branch of Saudi Arabian Islam. It boasts over 150 million members and its followers have been linked to numerous terror attacks in Western countries. In 2009, Russia's Supreme Court labeled Tablighi Jamaat extremist and banned it. Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, both former Soviet republics with large Muslim populations, have imposed the same measure.
If convicted of organizing activities, the seven arrested on Wednesday could be fined up to 800,000 rubles ($12,500), or imprisoned for between six and ten years. For just participating, they could expect a two to six-year jail sentence or a 600,000 ($9,400) ruble fine.
In 2017, the FSB reported that security forces detained 69 Tablighi Jamaat members in Moscow, including Russian citizens.
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