US adds Uzbek militant group fighting in Syria to global terrorist list


BISHKEK (TCA) — The United States has added an Uzbek militant group fighting in the Syrian civil war to its list of “global terrorists,” RFE/RL reported.

The U.S. State Department said on March 22 that it had designated Katibat al-Imam al-Bukhari (KIB) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

The State Department’s statement said that the move seeks to deny KIB the resources needed to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.

The group’s property subject to U.S. jurisdiction is blocked and U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with it, the State Department said.

The statement described Katibat al-Imam al-Bukhari as “the largest Uzbek fighting force in Syria.”

It said that KIB has played a “significant role” in the fighting in northwestern Syria, battling alongside groups including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

In December 2015, KIB posted a video of a training camp for children in which they were taught to handle and fire weapons, according to the State Department.

KIB published another video in April 2017 showing armed men taking part in clashes.

There are hundreds of militants from Central Asian countries fighting in Syria and Iraq. Governments in Central Asian states say they may return back home and bring terrorism and insurgency to their home countries.

Sergey Kwan