Security forces arrest 15 suspected extremists in Almaty operations

ASTANA – The Kazakh National Security Committee (NSC) in cooperation with Almaty police shut down two suspected radical groups and arrested 15 suspected religious extremists in special operations conducted Jan. 13-24 in Almaty city and the Almaty region, the NSC announced in a press release in mid-February.

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Nine of those arrested are suspected members of terrorist organisations. Six are persons suspected of individual terrorist activities. Charges included promotion of terrorism, preparation for participation in terrorist activities, incitement to religious hatred and illegal possession of weapons.

The National Security Committee and police also confiscated five grenades, extremist literature from terrorist organisations and literature in electronic format.

The National Security Committee reports it is continuing efforts to thwart extremist activity and that its January operations helped increase security for Universiade 2017.

Sergei Shveikin, deputy chief of the Anti-Terrorist Centre of the Kazakh National Security Committee said Jan. 31 that in 2016, the Kazakhstan National Security Committee prevented numerous violent extremist acts, according to Interfax-Kazakhstan.

“In the last year, we faced a difficult situation in Kazakhstan. It revealed a problem of so-called single-Jihad. In 2016, in Kazakhstan 12 violent extremist acts were prevented at the early stage of preparation and 182 persons convicted,” he said.

Shveikin said three people were convicted for financing terrorism, emphasising that they were members of international terrorist organisations.

“We have arrested and handed over five foreign extremists to other partner states. Also, the Kazakh National Security Committee contributed to the arrest of 14 members of international terrorist organisations,” he added.

Eight people were killed in terrorist attacks on a military unit and two weapons shops in Aktobe on June 5, 2016. Twenty-nine men were convicted in connection with the attack. Seven were sentenced to life in prison and two received 25 and 22 years of imprisonment, among lesser sentences.


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