TSG Report Cited in Foreign Policy: ‘Our Future Will be Violent Extremism’
August 2, 2017
By: Reid Standish
A quiet Sunday morning came to an end on June 5, 2016, as 27-year-old Dmitry Tanatarov led a group of 25 young men in what would become Kazakhstan’s largest terrorist attack ever …
The specter of Islamic extremism has loomed over Central Asia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 … In exile, groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan which aimed to overthrow the Uzbek government, took root in Afghanistan and later Pakistan and joined forces with the Taliban Other Central Asian extremists followed suit and moved south where they integrated into al Qaeda-linked groups with global ambitions.
This evolution accelerated following the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011 and again in 2014 after the declaration of a caliphate by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Soufan Group, a security consultancy, estimates that 2,000 Central Asian foreign fighters have joined the Islamic State and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria — with about 300 from Kazakhstan. Central Asians have also figured prominently in several international attacks claimed by the Islamic State and al Qaeda, including the Istanbul airport assault, the Stockholm truck attack, and the St. Petersburg metro bombing. This has led to fears that the Islamic State will start to turn its attention toward Central Asia as it continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria …
Download The Soufan Group’s updated report on Foreign Fighters here.
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