2018-02-22 11:25:00

Tajik Salafis intending to join terrorists in Syria dressed up as women to escape police

Dushanbe, February 22, Interfax - The police have detained two followers of the radical Salafism movement which is banned in Tajikistan, Interfax was told at the press center of the Tajik Interior Ministry on Thursday.

According to the ministry, 32-year-old Akmal Safarov and 35-year-old Alisher Nuraliyev, residents of a district bordering on Afghanistan, were wanted on charges of recruiting people for further participation in an armed conflict in a foreign state.

The defendants intended to travel to Syria via Kazakhstan to join terrorists, the ministry said.

To avoid detention they dressed up as pious women but were stopped by officers of the department for combating organized crime, a press officer said.

The Salafi movement or Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam that advocates a return to the traditions of the salaf, who are the first three generations of Muslims after the Prophet Muhammed. Salafism is often likened to Wahhabism.

In secular Muslim countries such as Central Asian republics Salafism is regarded as an extremist movement.

The Supreme Court of Tajikistan on January 8, 2009 banned Salafism in the territory of the country and on December 8, 2014 declared it an extremist movement.

Earlier the Tajik authorities announced that most of the Tajik citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq on the side of ISIL (banned in Russia) were followers of Salafism.