Azerbaijan’s security services on Saturday killed a suspected Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist who planned to carry out a suicide bombing in the capital Baku’s biggest shopping mall, authorities said.
The man “was killed outside Baku’s Bima shopping mall when he attempted to detonate an explosive belt as officers tried to arrest him,” the National Security Agency said in a statement.
He was identified as Jami Emin, 38, and the authorities had been looking for him after security services received intelligence reports that he was plotting terrorist acts in Azerbaijan.
Emin had previously served a nine-year prison term for “participating in a foiled terrorist plot in 2007” that targeted the American and British embassies in Baku and was released from prison earlier this year, the statement said.
In October 2007, Azerbaijan’s security services said they had arrested an “Al Qaeda-affiliated armed group” which was preparing attacks near the embassies as well as the offices of several Western-owned companies based in Baku.
In November that year, the group’s ringleader, Abu Jafar, was arrested in Baku along with 20 members of the group — including Emin — who were later sentenced to prison terms of up to 15 years.
Security services in October this year killed two men suspected of plotting “terrorist attacks” in the secular ex-Soviet country with a mainly Muslim population.