• KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 275

Radicalism Attracts Disenfranchised Youth in Tajikistan

On June 11th, eight natives of Tajikistan were detained in the United States suspected of attempting to organize terrorist attacks and belonging to ISIS. Previously, citizens of Tajikistan were arrested in Russia, accused of participating in the attack on the Crocus City Hall near Moscow. In just the past few years, natives of Central Asian states have been involved in ten attempted terrorist attacks. Zamir Karazhanov, a Kazakhstani political scientist and director of the Kemel Arna Public Foundation, believes that the deteriorating economic situation in the country is behind such radicalization. As reported by TCA, eight citizens of Tajikistan taken into custody in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia are suspected of having links to the terrorist group, ISIS. The detentions were made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in close coordination with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. Initially, it was stated that those arrested were Russian citizens of Tajik origin, but now their nationality has now been clarified. Citing sources from law enforcement agencies, media in the U.S. has reported that officially the migrants were held in connection with the violation of immigration laws. At the same time, they have not yet been charged with making preparations for a terrorist attack. According to sources, FBI agents have been following those detained for several months, and audio picked up by a bug allegedly has one of the suspects talking "about bombs.” Several days have now elapsed, but the U.S. authorities are still to release an official comment. The authorities in Tajikistan, meanwhile, are glossing over the incident. However, a Radio Ozodi source in New York said that the detentions of citizens from Central Asian countries began two months ago, since when 20 people have been detained, including 16 natives of Tajikistan, though “some of them were later released,” the source stated. According to the political scientist and Russia expert, Malek Dudakov, 50,000 Central Asians illegally entered the U.S. in 2023 alone: 17,000 from Uzbekistan, 7,000 from Kyrgyzstan, and 3,000 from Tajikistan. "Republicans blame Biden for artificially creating an explosive situation inside the United States, which could lead to a wave of terrorist attacks. And U.S. law enforcers fear that the U.S. may also expect an October 7th scenario in Israel with simultaneous attacks by Islamists in different cities,” he wrote on the Telegram. Following the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall, several countries, including Russia and Turkey, have tightened their migration policies toward people from Tajikistan. Kazakhstani political scientist, Zamir Karazhanov, told The Times of Central Asia that terrorist movements are influencing Tajik citizens because of the dire economic situation in the country. "During the 1990s and the civil war, a severe Islamicization of society began. Families were Islamiziced, and the economic factor, poverty, was superimposed on this. Similar processes were observed in all Central Asian countries, where religious young people began to come into contact with various radical extremist organizations. They are then processed and brainwashed into believing that everything they do is for the good...

Arrests of People from Tajikistan Who Crossed Border into U.S. Fuel Terrorism Worries

The reported arrests in the United States of eight people from Tajikistan with possible ties to a terror group has renewed concerns about extremism in the Central Asian country, which faced a backlash after the alleged involvement of some of its nationals in a terror attack in Russia in March. U.S. officials have provided little detail on the arrests of the men who had crossed into the United States from Mexico last year, though the development added to tension over the surge in illegal crossings at the southern border. Immigration and border security are a major campaign issue ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Patrick Lechleitner, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, was asked on Wednesday about reports that background checks on the Tajik men failed to turn up any cause for concern. In an interview with the NewsNation network, Lechleitner said another agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, had first contact with the men as they crossed the border. “Sometimes there is just no information on individuals. I mean, it’s quite common…  There is nothing,” he said. “There´s no criminal convictions, there’s no threat information or whatever on these individuals, or maybe these individuals are from an area that is particularly of concern, but that pops up later.” ICE was collaborating with the FBI and “we went out and got” the suspects after becoming aware of concerns about them, Lechleitner said. American law enforcement previously warned of the growing threat of terrorism on U.S. soil after the killing of about 145 people in an attack on the Crocus City Hall, an entertainment venue on the outskirts of Moscow, on March 22. The Islamic State group said it carried out the attack, and several people from Tajikistan were among suspects arrested by Russian authorities. “Now increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, akin to the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia concert hall a couple weeks ago,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told U.S. lawmakers on April 11. ISIS-K is an acronym used for an affiliate of the Islamic State branch that operates in Afghanistan and has sought recruits from Central Asia, particularly Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Crocus City Hall killings led to a backlash of suspicion against many Tajik migrants in Russia and difficult conditions for those trying to enter Russia in order to work, generating diplomatic tension between Moscow and Dushanbe and worries about the flow of remittances that are a vital part of Tajikistan’s economy. Tajikistan has not commented publicly on the arrests of the Tajik men in the United States. The Tajik government has previously said it is doing what it can to combat terrorism, downplaying questions about whether some of its internal restrictions, including on religious expression, might be contributing to radicalization. U.S. media reports, including from NBC News and ABC News, said the arrests occurred in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles this past weekend. The reports relied...

Central Asia Asks: Are Afghanistan’s Taliban Government Terrorists?

On June 3, Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with speakers of CSTO countries’ parliaments, who were in Almaty for a meeting of the Council of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly. At this event, Tokayev separately touched upon the situation in Afghanistan. In his view, one of the strategic tasks at this point is actively linking Afghanistan with the region. Tokayev recalled that “Kazakhstan had removed the Taliban regime from its list of terrorist organizations, basing this decision on the importance of developing trade and economic cooperation with today’s Afghanistan and the understanding that this regime is a long-term factor.” The last bit, namely that “Kazakhstan had removed the Taliban regime from its list of terrorist organizations,” was presented by many foreign media, probably due to its simplicity, as something that had just happened. For example, the Russian-language service of Deutsche Welle reported that “the Kazakh authorities have decided to exclude the Taliban movement from the list of terrorist organizations.” Similar stories were carried by various other news media, like RFE/RL’s Kazakh service, 24.kg and Amu TV, among others. However, some publications objectively covered Tokayev’s statement. For example, The Diplomat reported that “Tokayev explained his government’s decision in more detail,” while Sputnik India wrote that "Tokayev explained Almaty's decision in December to drop the group from the list.” Asia-Plus ran a similar story. Given all the noise, it would be useful to clarify the situation for readers. The decision to exclude the Taliban from the list of banned foreign organizations was made by Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court on December 20, 2023, almost six months ago. The Taliban had been put on the list in March 2005. At that time, they were actively fighting the NATO-led international coalition, which had launched the so-called Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack. The Kazakhstani Foreign Ministry cited UN decisions to back up its move to take the Taliban off the terrorist list. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov said that “according to UN Security Council resolutions, which are binding, the Taliban movement is not included in the lists of terrorist organizations recognized as such by the UN Security Council.” As expected, at the time the reaction was mixed. Most of the negative commentary presented it as recognition of the Taliban regime, which, in fact, is not true – it was not a unilateral act of Kazakhstan giving international legal recognition to the Taliban. Meanwhile, another trend in the coverage of Tokayev’s recent remarks was to link Kazakhstan’s decision to remove the Taliban from its terrorist list with Russian plans to do the same. On May 27, the Russian Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry reported to President Vladimir Putin that the Taliban movement could be excluded from the list of organizations banned in the country. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov remarked that this proposal “reflects a realization of reality,” adding that “[the Taliban] are the real government. We [and] our allies, especially in Central Asia, are not indifferent to Afghanistan.” In his own...

Peace for Women and Children Returning from Syria to Tajikistan

Dozens of women and children returning from Syria have now been reunited with their loved ones in Tajikistan and according to the  Ministry of Health, are adapting to a peaceful life. The return of Tajik citizens, primarily women and children, who left for Syria's combat zone and fell prey to terrorist organizations, has continued  since 2022. On 27 September 2023, the Government of Tajikistan introduced a program to aid their rehabilitation. According to , Kudratullo Kurbonzoda, head of the Social Protection Department of Tajikistan's Ministry of Health and Social Protection,  over the past two years, 334 people, including 259 children, have been returned from Syrian prisons to their homeland and having passed through the program's three stages, are settling in well. “Their health and mental state have recovered," commented Kurbonzoda Ku, adding that thanks to the program, even those without documents, such as passports or birth certificates, have been able to contact their families wherever they are in the country. A further 47 people who returned in April are currently  under the supervision of the agency's specialists and receiving assistance from doctors and psychologists, as well as from education and internal affairs officials. Referencing  the program's guidelines, Kurbonzoda added that in addition to financial and material assistance, the government  recommended the placement of  the children in schools and kindergartens, and provision of training and jobs for women.

Central Asian Entrepreneurs in Russia Shutting Down Hospitality Businesses Due to Xenophobia, Police Inspections

As previously reported by TCA, cafes and restaurants in Russia run by business owners from Central Asia have begun to close en masse. Following the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall near Moscow on March 22, for which several Tajik nationals have been detained and charged as the perpetrators, preexisting anti-migrant sentiment in Russia has intensified. Since that time, 75% of cafes and restaurants run by Central Asian migrants in Moscow alone have shut, with their owners citing xenophobia and harassment by the police. According to the Current Time news portal, police have sharply stepped up checks on newcomers, mostly Central Asians, over the past month. Raids against migrants are going on all over the country. Many migrants have already left Russia because of this - or refused to visit public places, including cafes. Café and restaurant owners have therefore suffered losses, and many have been forced to cease operations altogether. Police inspections of cafes and restaurants frequented by migrants have also increased - which is also not good for business. Migrants from other countries who work in the hospitality industry in Russia have also stated that increased xenophobia and raids after the terrorist attack have hit the restaurant business particularly hard. Those pressures - coupled with painfully high Russian inflation for food, goods, labor, and more  - have made operations in the hospitality sector unprofitable for many whose livelihoods depend on it.

The Taliban and its Neighbors: An Outsider’s Perspective

This is part two of a piece of which part one was published here. The topic of a regional approach to solving Afghanistan's problems is increasingly being discussed in various expert and diplomatic circles. The International Crisis Group (ICG), a reputable think tank whose opinion is extremely interesting as part of an "insider vs outsider" set of viewpoints, writes about this in particular. A report from ICG entitled "Taliban's Neighbors: Regional Diplomacy with Afghanistan" is one of the first works to summarize the role and place of the region as regards the situation around Afghanistan. In the voluminous work, the authors touch upon almost all aspects - issues of diplomatic recognition, security, terrorist activity, trade and economic relations within the region, water issues and others. In their conclusions, ICG analysts point out that many steps towards regional cooperation aren't related to Western donors, but European countries should nevertheless be interested. Europeans in particular would benefit from a stable, self-sufficient region that isn't a major source of illegal drugs, migrants or terrorism. But sanctions and other Western measures designed to show disapproval of the Taliban are obstacles to a more functional relationship between Kabul and the countries of the region. Significant progress depends on Western support - or at least tacit acquiescence. While such practical steps need not lead to  recognition of the Taliban regime, they will contribute to regional peace and security. However, experts are concerned that the emerging regional consensus is directly dependent on security and stability issues in Afghanistan - if regional neighbors feel that the government cannot restore order within Afghanistan's borders and contain transnational threats, the consensus may well collapse. If that happens, regional countries may be tempted to choose sides in another intra-Afghan civil conflict, repeating the destructive pattern of past decades. At the same time, experts believe that the first step toward improving regional security cooperation would be to cool down the rhetoric on all sides and get regional players to agree on security issues, even if they have different priorities. Security information sharing within the region also suffers because the Taliban have yet to build a trusted dialog. They lack credibility because of their complete denial of certain threats. Meanwhile, countries in the region and the world are guided by inflated estimates of militant numbers. The ICG's assessments of the security threats posed by Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) are broadly in line with the consensus - in some ways, the growing concern about ISKP is paradoxical due to the fact that the overall level of violence associated with the group has declined over the past two years. The question of whether ISKP could become a more potent transnational threat in the future remains open. So far, its operations outside of its original territory near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have been limited. On the other hand, ISKP continues to attract recruits from different parts of Central and South Asia and encourages attacks outside Afghanistan - arguably making it the most dangerous armed group in...

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