Posts Tagged ‘Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’
The Foreign Policy Association just made a big mistake…they published me. I wrote a short descriptive/analytical piece for the FPA about the rise of Islamic terrorism and extremism in Central Asia and how it was spilling over into the Afghan/Pakistan borderlands. Here is an excerpt below:
The border between the states of Afghanistan and Pakistan is now arguably the most active front in the war on terror. Foreign terrorists and extremists have come to the volatile border from the Middle East and Central Asia and there is real fear that these perpetrators may bring the war back to their home countries. Even more worrisome is that several of the militant groups involved in the current Afghan/Pakistan/US/NATO conflict hold broader goals of attacking American and Western interests. Central Asia, defined here as Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Uighur-dominated Xinjiang Province in western China, with Afghanistan and Pakistan as integral neighbors, also has vibrant militant groups threatening the governments of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and before the Olympics the Chinese government was targeted for several attacks by Uighur separatists with ties all the way to Pakistan. This briefing will analyze the rise in terrorist and extremist activities near the Afghan/Pakistan border, explore the major Islamic extremist groups active in Central Asia, discuss the reasons for their presence, and provide policy recommendations for the US, local actors, and regional groups.
Al Qaeda and the Taliban’s Foreign Helpers
In the last year or so there have been continual reports of a greater presence of foreign individuals and groups participating in extremist activities undermining Afghanistan, Pakistan, and regional stability. Al Qaeda and the Taliban have done an excellent job recruiting foreign jihadist to their fight against the US/NATO, Afghan, and Pakistani forces. Several disturbing trends have been recorded, including a rising use of suicide bombings and the recruitment and use of children in combat. Since 2001, there have been over 260 suicide bombings in Afghanistan alone, not to mention the hundreds that have recently occurred in Pakistan and Iraq, and unfortunately this number has only been increasing. US officials have stated that Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the Afghan/Pak border have systematically created an underground network into Central Asia, which has brought in approximately 200 children into the violent conflict. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been called ‘feeder channels’ for the terrorist groups. Pakistani journalist and scholar Ahmed Rashid told Radio Free Europe: “We’ve seen more and more of these people coming in. We have seen more suicide bombers in Afghanistan who supposed to be Uzbek from Uzbekistan. Clearly, there’s something going on here.”
I’m assuming now you are totally hooked and are desperate for the rest, right? Click here to continue reading the piece. Thoughts? Criticisms?