22 October 2013, 17:03
Kazakh security services deny that 150 members of one family fighting in Syria
Astana, October 22, Interfax - Kazakhstan is working on the return of its citizens from Syria, National Security Committee Deputy Chairman Nurgali Bilisbekov said.
"We do not deny that our citizens are present in the Syrian zone. We are worried because they are committing illegal acts on the territory of a foreign country," Bilisbekov told reporters at the Parliament's Senate on Tuesday.
"The National Security Committee jointly with interested bodies is working on the return of our citizens," he said.
France 24 reported earlier that over 150 Kazakh citizens, members of one family, had come to Syria "to join the Holy Jihad." The report claimed there were women and children amongst the arrivals. It referred to a video allegedly showing citizens of Kazakhstan.
"The comments said they were members of one family, 150 people, but that was not true," the official said.
In turn, Deputy Chairman of the Kazakh State Agency for Religious Affairs Marat Azilkhanov said that citizens of Kazakhstan "resorted to subterfuges for going there [to Syria] and engaging in Jihad and the caliphate project."
"Clearly, they are urged to do so and assisted by foreign forces. In fact, there is a purposeful campaign aimed to involve our citizens in radical movements. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of the global spread of information, in which any persons may listen to sermons, including radical sermons, online," he said.