A court in Kazakhstan has sentenced a local man to seven years in prison for engaging in "terrorist" activities in Syria and for calling his compatriots to join him in the jihad, a news report said.
An Almaty city court found Kamil Abdulin, 29, guilty on all charges, including leading a terrorist group, promoting terrorism and inciting religious hatred, a court spokesperson said, Interfax reported Wednesday. The court also ruled in its Tuesday verdict that Abdulin's property would be confiscated, the spokesperson said.
Kazakhstan — a predominantly Muslim nation in Central Asia — has strived to build a secular state while reviving religious freedoms after the post-Soviet collapse, but some have expressed concerns over the rise of radical Islam in the country.
A video posted online last fall created a stir by purporting to show a Kazakh "family" of 150 people, including women and children, preparing for jihad in Syria, BBC reported.
Kazakhstan's National Security Committee's Nurgali Bilisbekov said at the time that his government was "worried" about Kazakh citizens joining Islamist rebels who fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Interfax reported.
At least four men in Kazakhstan were trialled on terrorism charges this spring, after traveling to Syria to fight on the side of the rebels, RIA Novosti reported.