OVER TEN INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST NETWORKS EXPANDING
THEIR ACTIVITES IN AZERBAIJAN,
Including “Al Qaeda”, “Islamic Jihad”, “Jeishullar”, “Muslim Brotherhood”...
Ahmad Kadirov, the leader of the Chechen Republic announced at the meeting with foreign journalists on July 25 that the Chechen separatists have close contacts with al Qaeda and other radical Islamic networks. According to Kadirov, the terrorists who receive external funding, penetrate into Chechnia via Azerbaijan, Georgia and Daghestan.
The influential American “The Wall Street Journal” (July 21, 2002) referred to one of the perpetrators of the September 11 strike, Alman al Zauahri who spent several months in the 'international' town Baku, about the activities of the Baku cell of the Egyptian terrorist network 'Islamic Jihad'. The Wall Street Journal confirmed once again the involvement of Azerbaijan in the international terrorism.
According to the American intelligence service, the preparation and organization of the explosions of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August, 1999 when 224 innocent people died and over 5,000 were injured, were coordinated from Baku.
On July 26 “Washington Profile”, an independent American information center wrote that as early as in the late 80s’ the terrorist network al Qaeda opened a cell in Baku and supported Azerbaijan in the war against Mountainous Karabagh. For the purpose of participating in the Karabagh war 1,500 Afghan mojaheds arrived in Azerbaijan in September of 1993. In the summer of 1994 their number reached 2,500. As a matetr of fact, in September of 1993 Heydar Aliyev was the senior Commander of the Armed Forced of Azerbaijan.
According to “Washington Profile” (July 5) the terrorist network al Qaeda, headed by Usama bin Laden, has decided to move its headquarters from Afghanistan to Baku. The head of the press-service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Araz Kurbanov denied these news and qualified the statement as senseless since the Azeri authorities could not allow the terrorists to base in Azerbaijan (newspaper “Azatlig”, July 6). It should be noted that the information was provided to “Washington Profile” by the American secret service.
“Given the favorable geographical position of Azerbaijan, al Qaeda established here as well and even developed the plan of exploding the American Embassy in Baku” (cf.: Central Asia-Caucasus Organization of John Hopkins University, Newsletter, July 17). According to the information of one of the American influential universities, in the late 80s’ a number of international terrorist networks, such as al Qaeda, HizbAllah, “Muslim Brotherhood”, established their cells in Azerbaijan.
Undoubtedly, the Islamic terrorist networks functioning in Azerbaijan are not limited to the aforementioned ones, including Hisbut Tahrir, Jihad, Ihvan ul-Muslimin, etc.
According to the statistics of the state committee on religious issues of Azerbaijan, there are over 2000 religious organizations in Azerbaijan of which only 400 are registered. It is clear that the authorities in Baku and personally Heydar Aliyev would not agree to the fact that any of such organizations, like al Qaeda or Islamic Jihad are registered with the state committee on religious issues of Azerbaijan.
The widely spread corruption, the gradually deteriorating social-economic situation, the existence of over 500,000 refugees and several other factors have created fertile soil for the expansive activities of the terrorist networks. In respect of Azerbaijan some experts are concerned that the threat of Islamism will increasingly become more real in this former Soviet republic together with the escalation of the social-economic crisis in Azerbaijan.
Today, after the religious vacuum of the Soviet period, the young generation in Azerbaijan again adheres to the Muslim traditions and regularly attends mosques. Mosques are being build in Baku and throughout Azerbaijan. According to the data for 2001, there were around 1500 mosques in Azerbaijan. Half of them were not registered and were maintained and financed from the funds provided by foreign countries, the terrorist and other organizations.
On July 3, not far from Baku, in the settlement of Nardaran bloody conflict took place between the local believers and the police. According to the central newspapers of Azerbaijan, Nardaran is under control of the Islamic extremists and disobeys Baku. The protestors in Nardaran burnt ten police cars. Haji Alikram, one of the leaders of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan qualified the incident in Nardaran as a “crusade” of the Azeri authorities against the believers. Heydar Aliyev strictly suppressed the commotion of the decent people of Nardaran.
If the international terrorist networks operating in Azerbaijan threaten the countries of the region, the radical Islamatization of Azerbaijan is a threat to the position held by the Azeri authorities