Cherkessk, October 20, Interfax - Five members of Al Takfir wal-Hijra, an international religious extremist organization banned in Russia, have been detained in the Nogai District of Karachay-Cherkessia, the Russian Interior Ministry said in a statement.
"Members of the criminal group were propagating the ideas of radical Islam, threatened municipal officials with reprisals in a bid to oust them from office, and were hatching an intention to create a Sharia-ruled state in this North Caucasus region," the statement said.
Officers searched the suspects' homes and seized firearms, bladed weapons, ammunition, and religious extremist literature, it said.
Regional investigators have launched criminal inquiries on charges of "setting up the operation of an extremist organization" and "illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation, mailing, and carrying of firearms, main components, and ammunition."
All five have been remanded in custody, the statement said.
Efforts are underway to identify other members and abettors of the extremist group and detect further episodes of their criminal activities, it said.