US Department of State Report Describes Situation in Fight Against Terror
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend A.Gasimova / On 30 April the US Department of State Report has publicized an annual report on terrorism, which also deals with the situation in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan's anti-terrorism co-operation with the United States included granting blanket overflight clearance, engaging in information sharing and law-enforcement co-operation, the report writes.
Azerbaijan has supported the peace-keeping operation in Iraq since August 2003 with an infantry company of approximately 150 soldiers stationed at the Haditha Dam. A platoon of Azerbaijani soldiers has been working with the Turkish peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan since November 2002 and there are plans to double this number. Azerbaijan has taken measures against the financing of terrorists and has revealed the funds linked with terrorism.
In April, the Azerbaijani Serious Crimes court sentenced a group of six men called Al-Muvahhidun Jamaat to prison their jail sentence terms ranging from ten to fifteen years. According to the Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security, the members of the group planned to travel to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey for military training. The group was accused of planning bomb attacks on the U.S., Israeli and Russian embassies, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) building and the National Bank of Azerbaijan.
Also in April, during a trial involving a group called al-Qaida Caucasus (not related to the group of the same name sentenced in 2005), 16 group members were sentenced to life imprisonment. Most of them were activists of various radical religious organizations that had undergone training at a camp in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge.
Azerbaijan extradited to Russia a terrorist suspect accused of bombing in Dagestan in 2002. The suspect was originally arrested in Azerbaijan and, in April, was sentenced by an Azerbaijani court to seven years imprisonment where he was subsequently extradited to Russia.