Head of Crimea: terrorist sleeper cells are operating on the peninsular

The head of the Crimea's Russian-controlled administration, Sergey Aksyonov, said that there are ‘sleeper cells’ of international terrorist organizations on the peninsula, RIA Novosti reports.

According to him, there are several threatening factors that influence the situation in the field of countering terrorism.

"Firstly, it is the destructive activity of the activists of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian national separatism, as well as the presence on the peninsula of "sleeper cells" of international terrorist organizations," Aksyonov said.

According to him, this year in the Crimea, activities of the extremist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir, were suppressed. A large number of firearms, ammunition, and explosives have been seized.

It was previously reported that the defendants in the Simferopol Hizb ut-Tahrir case were left in a pretrial detention center until the 11th of February. The court hearings were closed.

The defenders of the arrested and convicted Crimeans in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case believe their persecution is motivated on religious grounds. Those persecuted in this case by Russian law enforcement agencies are mostly Crimean Tatars, as well as Ukrainians, Russians, Tajiks, Azerbaijanis, and Crimeans of other ethnic origins that follow Islam.

The representatives of the international Islamic political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir state tht their mission is to unify all Muslim countries in the Islamic caliphate, but they reject the terrorist methods of achieving this and say they are being unfairly persecuted in Russia. The Supreme Court of Russia banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003, as well as 15 other organizations listed as "terrorists."

  Crimea, Aksyonov