BAKU - Four foreign-trained Islamists were sentenced to up to 14 years
in jail in Azerbaijan on Monday for plotting "terrorist attacks" on the
eve of this year's Eurovision song contest in Baku, the latest crackdown
on militancy in the oil-rich state.
After 70 years of
Soviet-rule, most Azeris have a relaxed attitude towards religion, but
Azerbaijan, a NATO ally bordering Iran on the Caspian Sea, says it is
combating increasing Islamist extremism with ties to Tehran.
court official who declined to be named told Reuters the four were
sentenced to between 12 and 14 years in jail for crimes including
treason, plotting terrorist attacks, arms smuggling and having links
with Iran's Revolutionary Guards.