Kazakhstan’s Committee for National Security (KNB) has detained 10 people the authorities say are suspected of propagating terrorism via the Internet.
The KNB’s press service said on October 29 that the suspects were apprehended in search operations held over the weekend in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, as well as in the Almaty, Aqmola, and Qaraghandy regions.
According to the statement, the suspects used social networks and messaging apps to “propagate terrorism and incite religious discord.”
The statement also says that more than 180 people across Kazakhstan’s 15 regions were members of chat-groups and social network communities in question.
The KNB is investigating whether any of the detainees may have provided financial backing or other forms of support for terrorism.
Critics of President Nursultan Nazarbaev’s government say the authorities sometimes use allegations of extremism as a pretext to suppress dissent in the Central Asian former Soviet republic.