Based on the latest official data provided by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA) during the meeting with the IMO representatives in October 2018, it is supposed that 1477 persons (1136 men and 341 women) from Azerbaijan have gone to Syria and Iraq in order to join terrorist organizations, 903 persons (749 men and 154 women) have been killed or lost, says the final report entitled as “Research on identification of sensitivity to or firmness against radicalization in the selected communities of Azerbaijan”, ONA reports.
According to the report, it is seen from places of residence of the local citizens from Northern, Southern and North-western regions of Azerbaijan having joined extremist organizations in Syria and Iraq while this figure is 22 for the Southern region, the number of “fighters” from Northern and North-western regions are correspondingly 201 and 114. This difference between the figures can be associated with dissemination of extremist ideas along Northern borders of Azerbaijan. The risk of promotion of the extremist ideas by the former “fighters” returned to the country has been confirmed by Azerbaijan’s authorized agencies and a number of measures have been taken in order to prevent the relevant risk. A little number of terrorists from those persons have returned to Azerbaijan and have been exposed to sanctions.
According to the figures presented by MIA, 309 persons (261 men and 48 women) (mainly from Sumgait, Gusar, Balaken and Zagatala) have returned to the country.
Based on the report, the sources of dissemination of the extremist ideas are mainly foreign sources and they have been strengthened only by means of the interaction with the tensions existing in the religious sphere in those regions.
Note that the report has been developed in the framework of the project entitled as “Improvement of firmness of sensitive communities” implemented with financial support of US Agency for International Development (USAID) and by the International Migration Organization (IMO) being a migration agency of the UN, together with Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations.