Friday, November 2, 2007

US Embassy Targeted by Azerbaijan Terror Cell

by Aida Sultanova from The Associated Press

A group of militant Islamists planned to attack the U.S. Embassy and other government buildings in Azerbaijan with stolen military grenades and assault rifles but were thwarted by security forces, officials said Monday. The National Security Ministry said the group had planned a "large-scale, horrifying terror attack" but did not provide details or say if any other weapons had been involved. It described the plotters as adherents of the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Sunni Islam, which counts Osama bin Laden and many al-Qaida members among its adherents ... Ilgar Ibrahimoglu, the head of the Center for Protection of Freedom of Conscience, an Azeri human rights group, said it was not yet clear if the government was exaggerating the threat to show the West its determination to battle militant groups. "The Wahhabi virus has been around here for a few years, but it's necessary to prove their involvement in these events," Ibrahimoglu said. Hidayat Orujev, the head of Azerbaijan's state agency in charge of dealing with religious groups, hinted at possible foreign involvement in the plot.

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