Members of the sect, which called themselves Faizrakhmanists after their founder, did not recognize Russian state laws or the authority of mainstream Muslim leaders in Tatarstan, which immediately set them apart from others in an area where people were very devoted to their faith.
For as long as a decade, the sect existed without any outside interference, though neighbors often wondered what was happening there and how many people actually lived on the premise. Only a few sect members were allowed to leave the premises to work as traders at a local market.
But it was unearthed near Kazan in Russia’s mainly Muslim Tatarstan region during an investigation into militant groups by local authorities.
Police say that more than 30 adults lived in the bunker, and were basically living on top of each other due to the limited space available.