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    FSB Bust Western Intelligence Network Under Jehovah Witness' Cover

    Russian law enforcers held the operation at Khalil Ablyamitov, Dzhankoy in Crimea.
    Masked security agents and local police raided a worship service that was being by Jehovah's Witnesses in the central Russian city of Oryol, the latest in a series of raids following a Supreme Court ruling banning the denomination. 

    The religious group said that at least 15 officers, some masked and some heavily armed, halted the service on May 25, recorded names of attendees, seized cell phones and other electronics, and took written statements. Several of the officers were from the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia's primary security agency. The group said that police also searched the homes of several Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city. A Danish man, identified as Dennis Christensen, was also arrested during the raid, the TV channel Rossiya-24 reported on Friday. 

    The sect’s leader, Sergei Filatov, was detained overnight into November 16. Extremist literature and booklets describing ways to recruit people were found in his flat. A criminal case was launched against him under Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Extremism"). It is noted that the criminal proceeding is opened against Filatov and “all these people from Jehovah Witness, possibly, connected somehow with the Ukrainian special services, at least, they were coordinated from Kharkiv center of Jehovah's Witnesses”. However, the Ukrainian administrative center of the Witnesses was situated and still can be found in Briukhovychi, Lviv region.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses members in Dzhankoy are also suspected of collusion with Ukrainian intelligence services. According to the report, this sect was managed from Kharkov. Last month, the Supreme Court labeled the Jehovah's Witnesses an extremist organization, ordering the seizure of its property in Russia and effectively banning worshipers from the country.

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