Azerbaijan has arrested two men for allegedly plotting attacks on Shias in the mainly Shiite Muslim, but strictly secular, ex-Soviet state, the country's security agency said Saturday.
"Nariman Mirzayev and Mirzehmet Rustamov are suspected of planning terrorist attacks and acquiring a large amount of weapons, ammunition and explosives," Azerbaijan's ministry of national security said in a statement.
In October a Facebook user under the pseudonym Anakin Skywalker -- the original name of the villain Darth Vader in the Star Wars films -- allegedly posted a picture of the two Azerbaijani nationals brandishing weapons and calling for attacks on Shiite sites and the murder of a prominent cleric in Baku, the statement said.
Nestled between Iran and Russia's restive north Caucasus region, oil-rich Azerbaijan has long been concerned about the spread of radical Islam -- especially among the the large number of unemployed youth who feel left behind despite the country's recent oil boom.
Authorities in the tightly-controlled Caspian nation have also cracked down on moderate clerics and their supporters who have spoken out against the government of strongman President Ilham Aliyev.