Poland deports 3 Tajiks for ties to the 'Islamic State'



A police car leaves the grounds of the German Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe on April 15 after German police arrested five Tajiks suspected of belonging to an 'Islamic State' (IS) terror cell. [Thomas Lohnes/AFP]

WARSAW -- Polish authorities have deported three Tajiks suspected of having ties to the "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist group and of trying to recruit Poles and Ukrainians to commit terrorism in Poland, Radio Poland reported Monday (September 28).

The deportations -- to Tajikistan -- took place in early September but became public knowledge only now. Two other members of the suspected extremist group are still appealing their deportation in the European Court of Human Rights.

Polish authorities detained four of the suspects in May. International counter-terrorism authorities at the end of June helped arrest the fifth one, who fled Poland last December, said Radio Poland. It did not report the location of his arrest.

The fifth suspect had been planning to travel to Syria, where he intended to participate in "jihad". He already had established contact with a key member of al-Qaeda, said the Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW).

In April, the ABW director asked the Polish interior minister to prohibit the five Tajiks from entering Poland and other member states of the European Union's Schengen Zone. In May, the minister issued that decision, which is valid for five years.

Terror suspects in Albania, Germany

The news comes after a flurry of counter-terrorism action in Albania and Germany earlier this year.

In June, an Albanian court extradited a Tajik man, Komron Zukhurov, to Germany to face charges of belonging to an IS cell, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported at the time.

Albanian authorities in April arrested him in compliance with an international arrest warrant issued by a German court.

Earlier in April, German authorities announced they had detained five Tajik nationals suspected of forming an IS cell that plotted attacks on German soil.

The group was allegedly planning attacks on US Air Force bases in the country and on an unidentified individual whom they deemed critical of Islam.

Authorities arrested four of the suspects on April 15 in Siegen, Heinsberg and Werdohl, all in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said German prosecutors. The fifth suspect was arrested in March 2019. RFE/RL did not report his location of arrest.

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