The National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan launched a large-scale security operation in the country yesterday targeting cells belonging to an extremist group known as Takfir Wal-Hijra. Among other provinces, the security operation covered the rural districts of Almaty, the Aktobe region and the city of Atyrau.
In an official statement that the Security Committee made yesterday, it announced that 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of “inciting religious hatred, sowing discord and participating in the activities of banned organisations in the country”. The Committee added that detainees had been transferred to security centres while their places of residence were inspected.
The Committee also explained in the statement that members of the extremist organisation Takfir Wal-Hijra promote the principle of “charging with unbelief”, the same principle that underpins the ideology of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.
The statement also pointed out that the Takfir Wal-Hijra group encourages “the actions of terrorists in Iraq and Syria and, in general, reject secular government and constitutional laws”.
Kazakh authorities have tightened security measures and increased their efforts to fight terrorism after terrorist attacks targeted a national guard base and firearms shops in the city of Aktobe. It was the deadliest incident of its kind since the mostly Muslim country became independent of the Soviet Union in 1991.