Wed, 13 Nov 2019

DUSHANBE -- Two sons of Amriddin Tabarov, the late founder and leader of the banned Islamic militant group Jamaat Ansarullah, have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms in Tajikistan.

Officials from the Tajik Supreme Court told RFE/RL on October 22 that Abdulfattoh and Saidjamoliddin Tabarov had been extradited from Afghanistan and were sentenced to 23 years and 16 years in prison, respectively, on August 29.

The two were found guilty of organizing a criminal group, public calls to overthrow the Central Asian state's constitutional order, and illegal weapons possession.

In January 2016, Tajik authorities announced that Amriddin Tabarov had been targeted and killed during a military operation by Afghan security forces in July 2015.

Tabarov, also known as Mullah Amriddin, had been a field commander for anti-government Islamist forces during Tajikistan's devastating 1992-97 civil war.

He joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in the late 1990s, fighting first in northern Afghanistan and then moving into Pakistan after the Taliban regime was ousted from power.

In 2010, Tabarov founded Jamaat Ansarullah -- a militant group that maintained links with the IMU.

The IMU had ties with Al-Qaeda as well as the Taliban. Some members have declared allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

Tajik authorities banned Jamaat Ansarullah in 2012, calling it a terrorist group.

In 2015-16, dozens of Jamaat Ansarullah members were jailed in Tajikistan.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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