Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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Notorious Tajik Islamic State Recruiter Reappears In Syrian Refugee Camp.

A notorious Islamic State recruiter from Tajikistan, who went missing from a prison in northern Syria last year, is in a refugee camp in the Turkey-controlled Syrian city of Jarabulus, sources and a relative told RFE/RL.

Parviz Saidrahmonov, 34, who is suspected of having links to terrorist attacks in Sweden, Russia, and Tajikistan, disappeared from a prison in the Syrian town of Afrin in mid-2020 when Tajikistan was working on his extradition to Dushanbe.

Two people told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that they saw Saidrahmonov, aka Abu Dovud, in a refugee camp in Jarabulus last week.

One of Saidrahmonov's relatives told RFE/RL that one of Saidrahmonov’s wives, who is from Russia's North Caucasus region of North Ossetia, and his four children are also in the refugee camp.

"Currently, the conditions Abu Dovud is experiencing fully differ from prison conditions, and the Turkish authorities are allowing him to meet his wife regularly," the relative said, adding that Saidrahmonov asked for money to be sent in one of his latest conversations by phone.

Meanwhile, an official of the Tajik Interior Ministry, who asked not to be named as he is not authorized to speak officially on the issue, told RFE/RL that Ankara "had not given any clear answers" to Dushanbe's requests to extradite Saidrahmonov, who is wanted in Tajikistan and Russia on a charge of allegedly recruiting people to the extremist Islamic State (IS) organization in Syria.

According to Tajik authorities, he is accused of recruiting more than 200 people to IS.

Saidrahmonov has been suspected of being behind several attacks and terrorist plots in several countries.

Swedish investigators say he was an accomplice of Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek man who drove a hijacked truck down a busy pedestrian street in Stockholm on April 7, 2017, killing five people and injuring 10 others.

Akilov, a rejected asylum seeker in Sweden before the attack, was sentenced to life in prison in June 2018.

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