Group attempting to blow up mosque in Azerbaijan neutralized (UPDATE)

Group attempting to blow up mosque in Azerbaijan neutralized (UPDATE)

Details were added (first version was published at 11:26)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 23

A group that attempted to blow up a mosque in Azerbaijan has been neutralized, a message from Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security said on Nov.23.

According to the message, as a result of operational search actions carried out by the employees of the Ministry of National Security, Azerbaijani citizens Nariman Mirzoyev and Mirzahmad Rustamov were detained as suspected of preparing a terrorist attack against the civilian population, as well as the illegal acquisition of large quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives.

The Main Investigation Department of the Ministry of National Security has initiated a criminal case under Articles 28, 214.2.1, 28, 214.2.3 (terrorism) and 228.2.1 (illegal acquisition, storage, transportation of firearms, component parts, ammunition by a group of persons on preliminary collusion) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.

According to the message, in October 2013, there was published a statement of alleged "Amir Farman Chetin" who was in Azerbaijan's Gusar region on the page of user under the nickname "Enakin Skywalker" about receiving a fatwa from "Sheikh Mirzahmad Al-Gusari" about a jihad against the Shiites in Azerbaijan.

In addition, according to the message, there were published photos of "Sheikh Mirzahmad Al-Gusari" and "amir Farman Chetin" with knife in their hands on the page of "Enakin Skywalker". Under this photo alongside with the statement on the "fatwa about jihad" against the Shiites in order to create a confrontation in Azerbaijan on the basis of religious hatred, there were also published with insults and threats the calls for the murder of Shahin Hasanov, the Akhund of "Meshedi Dadash" mosque in Baku.

As a result of operational investigative activities, it was established that the persons under the pseudonyms "Farman Chetin" and "Sheikh Mirzahmad Al-Gusari" were Nariman Mirzoyev and Mirzahmad Rustamov.

According to the message, it was also established that in April 2012, Nariman Mirzoyev, Mirzahmad Rustamov and other persons decided to commit an explosion with terrorist aims in order to kill the Shiites, to violate public security, to cause panic among the population and to cause a considerable material damage.

According to the message, with this aim the aforementioned persons have acquired a large number of firearms and ammunition. They established surveillance of "Meshedi Dadash" mosque in Yasamal district of Baku in order to blow it up. Additionally, Nariman Mirzoyev ordered Mirzahmad Rustamov to prepare a special shelter in Gusar region, in order to hide from law enforcement agencies after committing a terrorist attack and resist them.

The message said that after completing the preparations for the terrorist attack, Nariman Mirzoyev published on Facebook the calls about "the beginning of jihad" against "Shiites, as well as about the murder of Shahin Hasanov.

As a result of operational search actions carried out by the employees of the Ministry of National Security, Nariman Mirzoyev and Mirzahmad Rustamov were detained, the message said. As a result of a search there were found one converted artisanal "Makarov MP 371" signal pistol, one clip and eight cartridges on Nariman Mirzoyev. In addition, one Kalashnikov rifle, one clip and 14 cartridges, three "F-1" hand grenades were found in Mirzoyev's apartment. In turn, there were found and taken off one "Makarov MP 371" converted artisanal signal pistol, one clip and eight cartridges on Mirzahmad Rustamov. Moreover, two "F-1" hand grenades were found in his apartment.

According to the message, currently the operational search actions are continuing in order to establish all details of the prepared crime and to identify other participants of this crime.

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