Here, we have 15 inner spiritual strugglers who were caught in a failed attempt to topple a secular government. “Azerbaijan sentences 15 Islamists for plot attempt,” from Reuters:
BAKU, Dec 10 (Reuters) – An Azeri court on Monday sentenced 15 members of an Islamist group to long terms in prison for a foiled plot to overthrow the government.
Led by 32-year-old Said Dadashbeily, and known as “Said’s Group”, they were
detained last January and court procedures started in October.
Dadashbeily, who used to work for a foreign company in Baku, was sentenced to
14 years in prison. Other members of the group received lesser terms.
All denied the charge of attempting a coup d’etat, links to Iranian organisation Sepakh, and other crimes.
Most Azeri are Muslim, but the government under President Ilham Aliyev is strictly secular. The administration is close to Washington and Azerbaijan has troops serving alongside U.S. forces in Iraq.
In the past five years, authorities in Azerbaijan have closed down several Islamic charities with links to Gulf states.
Azerbaijan last month said it detained followers of the Wahhabi branch of Islam,
including an army officer, who were armed with grenade launchers and automatic weapons
and about to attack the U.S. and British Embassies.