International organization Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) included Azerbaijan in short list of countries financing terrorism and laundering criminal money. In this list, besides Azerbaijan, from the post-Soviet countries, also appears Ukraine. Although, open to press report didn’t cite supporting data on reasons why Azerbaijan and Ukraine got included in the list of laundering criminal incomes and sponsoring terrorism countries, there are no top secrets in it. Thus, Ukraine’s weapon sale to Azerbaijan let Kiev and Baku’s officials "to earn” ten, or even more, million dollars. Publicity also got some of Ukraine’s "operations” on supplying world terrorist organizations with the weapon.
Ukraine and Azerbaijan had "covert military financial transactions” not only between themselves, but also, with other countries. Thus, after the catastrophe of Ukrainian "Il-76”that took place in China 2005 became clear that together with the Ukrainian crew there was Azerbaijan military pilot in the plane. At that time, Azerbaijani Defense Minister S. Abiyev desperately tried to distance from it and claimed, that he didn’t know about the complicity of Azerbaijani officer to the illegal weapon flows from Ukraine to terrorists.
The recent sample of Ukrainian-Azerbaijan "cooperation” with terrorist organizations become public, when plane with several tons of weapons and ammunition was arrested in Thailand. The investigation revealed that airplane confusing traces of the crime, departed from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, then flew to North Korea and from there to Thailand.
Should be noted that FATF reports unite 35 major world financial secret agencies, in world financial circles these reports are not question, they affect relations with countries that took criminal actions. In particular, getting in these reports first of all strongly affect investment inflows into the state. For Azerbaijan the problem is exacerbated by US court that proved bribery cases by the currant and previous Presidents. Aliyev didn’t earn the trust after the mass acquisitions of fashionable houses in the prestigious region of Dubai for his children on 75 million dollars. At the same time, world press mentioned that the salary of Azerbaijani President per year is 228 thousand dollars.
Bribery and criminal money laundering although are evil, yet the world is much more concerned about Azerbaijan’s contact with terrorist organizations. Note, that if for a while Azerbaijan assisted terrorist services and financed these organizations, then in recent years it transformed and became supplier, organizer and even exporter of Azerbaijani terrorist organizations. It’s not about the funded by Azerbaijan organizations as Kurdistan Workers' Party, that, under some conditions, could be considered as rebel detachments of the national liberation movement. Azerbaijan’s role is much more significant in the world terrorist association.
Heydar Aliyev became the interaction basis between Azerbaijan and terrorist organizations, who now declared "national leader” of this Republic. During Heydar Aliyev’s lifetime, more than 3200 mujahedeens from terrorist organization "Hizb-i-Islami” led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar were "invited” from Afghanistan to Azerbaijan for participation in the aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Same G. Hekmatyar at the beginning of 2007 stated to the Pakistani television journalists that in 2001 his troops saved Osama bin Laden and his assistant Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri from the American Army.
Over time connections of official Baku with the world terrorist movement were strengthened. Shamil Basayev, Emir Khattab, Doku (Dokka) Umarov, Salman Raduyev and many others gained their bloody experience during Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, later they acquired notoriety of pitiless killers. By the end of 1993 Azerbaijan became secret "address” for Islamic terrorists from the entire world, as well as the transit point for the delivery of financial resources, weapons and fighters into "independent Ichkeria”, its representation legally functioned in Baku.
No one says that world community didn’t know about Azerbaijan’s sinister role in the formation and strengthening of Islamic terrorist movement. Although, Azerbaijan’s oil and gas riches became the cause of permissive attitudes of the international community to some "issues” of this country, yet time to time some countries harshly reacted on the haven organized by Azerbaijani officials for terrorist organizations. Thus, in October 2002 Great Britain’s Foreign Office officially ranked Azerbaijan to the list of countries, where terrorist organizations are active and threaten the safety and lives of foreigners. Official London recommended its citizens do not travel to Azerbaijan, since "the threat of terrorist attacks on foreigners is very high there”. Although, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of National Security made a rebuttal and stated that "peace and tranquility” reign in the republic, facts speak otherwise.
Azerbaijan has been included to the Washington’s list of states, where Al-Qaeda partition functions. Russia State Duma’s Security Committee for several years indicated (and indicates) Azerbaijan as country, with close connections to Chechen and Afghan terrorist structures. Canada also adjusted Azerbaijan to the unreliable states, where function international terrorist training centers. Ottawa recommended its consular offices to pay special attention to Azerbaijan citizens as well as”to those who was there at least once” in consideration of the issuance of entry visa.
Lists of terrorist organization supporters were published after September 11th tragedy. But even before that, American (not Azerbaijani!) secret agencies arrested "Islamic Jihad’s” military operations chief Ahmad Salam Mabruk in Baku who has been accused in participation of the terrorist act in Nairobi. In a couple of months after that CIA agents traced and captured in Azerbaijan two other activists of this group - Hafiz Mabrouk and Yasser al-Sirri.
By the way, bloody terrorist acts simultaneously occurred on August 7th 1998, when American embassies were exploded in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, directly related to the "Djeyshullah” terrorist organization entrenched in Azerbaijan that was included by US State Department to the list of 39 most dangerous world extremist groups. "Djeyshullah” ("Allah's Army”) is in close contact with the terrorist groups in other countries of the world, and it serves as Al Qaeda’s branch in Azerbaijan.
Well-known that before terrorist attacks on American embassies in the capitals of Kenya and Tanzania, Al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden called more than 60 times to Azerbaijan. However, not a lot of us know, that fax with order to blow up American embassy in Kenya was sent precisely from Azerbaijan. It’s interesting that day before the New York and Washington tragedy on September 11th 2001, the US Congressional Research Service released special document on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda activities in Azerbaijan.
In Azerbaijan today also operate numerous extremist terrorist organizations, many of them – "Hizb ut-Tahrir”, "Ihaviul-Muslimin”, "Islamic Jihad”, "Djeyshullah”, "Gutbi” - are tightly connected; and coordinate their actions with identical organizations in other countries. Other Azerbaijan’s terrorist groups have regional significance: "Forest Brothers”, "Nurchilar”, "Caucasus Emirate”… Those of you who are interested in the topic could find information on the site that belongs to one of the Azerbaijani terrorist organizations.
Thus, it could be stated that FATF information- advisory list, at the same time reflects the real situation in Azerbaijan. And if under inclusion to the list of unreliable countries "axis of evil”: Iran, Syria, North Korea- could be suspected political motivation; then Baku doesn’t have this proviso. Azerbaijan gets more stuck in the quagmire of universal corruption and patronage to international terrorism, and the head of this phenomenon traditionally-hereditary are the first people of this republic.
February 26th this year, three weeks before the publication of FATF report on countries involved in money laundering and "lack of fight” against terrorist organizations, in Dagestani newspaper "Novoe Delo” was published article "South Dagestan" by Marco Shakhbanov and Magomed Abdurashidov. The article contains remarkable phrase: "At moment the most influential player in South Dagestan is the President of neighboring Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev”. The authors, however, quite objectively telling about the intervention of the President of Azerbaijan Republic in the ethnic, economic and political life of South Dagestan, abstained from the analysis of the source of Aliyev’s political opportunity on Russian territory, limiting statement of facts by the presence of a large array of ethic Azeris in South Dagestan. Meanwhile, Ilham Aliyev’s influence on neighboring Dagestan is based not only on the factor of Azerbaijani Diaspora presence that he supports to, but, in the first place, on the controlled by Azerbaijan Republic terrorist organizations. In Dagestan, constantly shaken by bloody terrorist acts, where people are forced to live in the fear for their relatives, and where political preferences have clan-ethnic nature, terrorist factor is becoming increasingly important.