TODAY.AZ / Politics

Al Qaeda recruiting Azeri girls

24 March 2006 [11:56] - TODAY.AZ
"The Al Qaeda terror cell is trying to recruit Azeri girls to carry out suicide attacks," the National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov has said.

The persons supposedly being drawn to join such extremist groups include believers from low-income families, religious students or the unemployed aged between 20 and 25, Mahmudov told Russian Interfax news agency.

"The secret service bodies have been frequently encountering the activity of extremist groups aiming to disrupt the secular and democratic state-building in Azerbaijan and prompt the country to back off from the international anti-terror coalition. Such groups target strategic sites, embassies, the offices of foreign companies and areas densely populated by foreigners." The minister said that although the country has extensive experience in fighting extremism, the data suggesting that young women are being recruited by the Al Qaeda Caucasus cell "was the worst discovery for us over the past years".

Mahmudov said combat against religious extremists is one of the priorities for the secret service. Azerbaijan is actively cooperating with other countries, including the Commonwealth of Independent States, in fighting terror, Mahmudov said. "The terror acts committed recently in Europe and Asia once again showed that not a single state can counter terrorism on its own and deem itself fully protected from it."



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