Members of the Muslim Union Movement, as well as previously arrested persons, are named in this criminal case.
The State Security Service of Azerbaijan (DTX) detained Azerbaijani citizens suspected of cooperation with Iran’s special services.
The information released by the institution states that comprehensive investigative measures have been carried out and Azerbaijani citizens are being held in the sphere of influence by blackmail and other violent methods in order to be used against the interests of state security.
Operational-investigative measures indicated that a secret illegal armed association of Azerbaijani citizens was created under the control of Iran’s special service body by inculcating radical-extremist religious ideas.
According to the organization’s information, the leaders of this association are people who have been arrested and were previously convicted and selected members of the Muslim Union Movement:
“They were taken through the territory of third countries to the city of Tehran, Iran, where their mobile phones and passports were taken, they were instructed on the secrecy of their connections and conspiracy requirements, they were given religious nicknames, and they were taken to the city of Damascus, Syria, on military cargo planes with presented fake documents. They were involved in military exercises where they were taught the rules of using various firearms and combat tactics in Syria, and each person who participated in the exercises was given various amounts of money by signing the receipts presented to them”, the document reads.
The Ministry of Defense declares that 19 Azerbaijani citizens, who were found to be participating in military exercises of illegal armed groups during the search operations, were brought into the investigation:
“Numerous evidences about the illegal armed association and the military trainings organized by it, various books and video materials that propagated a radical, religious-extremist attitude against the ideas of modern development and a secular state, and which were banned in the country, were discovered and taken away.”
According to the organization’s information, during the investigations, it was established that one of the investigated people organized the distribution of t-shirts with religious slogans, which were delivered to Azerbaijan by a car belonging to the Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan, to the participants of the actions planned to be held in some regions of the republic.
“It was found out that the representatives of the mentioned special services blackmailed the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan with video footage of the military exercises in which they were involved and other methods in order to keep them under their influence. At present, complex operative-investigative measures are ongoing”, the information says.
The DTX declares that the strictest measures will be taken against Azerbaijani citizens involved in any illegal armed groups, they will face serious criminal responsibility. The institution warns them about the need to timely inform the security body of the country about any influence of foreign special services.
The Azerbaijani regime persecutes many religious activists with extremism charges, however, it is argued this persecution is often political due to the influence of these groups in different layers of society and their opposition to the government.