Foreign Policy Blogs

The State of Terrorism in Central Asia

I am currently working on a longer piece for the Foreign Policy Association's main page and newsletter on the spread of terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan and Central Asia. It will concentrate on the recent influx of Islamic militants from the Stans’ into the Pakistan-Afghanistan shared border region. The recent make up and activities of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT), Al Qaeda, and Uighur militant groups will be discussed and analyzed.

Here are a few of the resources I’ve been checking out that may be of interest:

  • Central Asia in Al-Qaeda's Vision of the Anti-American Jihad, 1979-2006” by Michael Scheuer – Scheuer, an ex-CIA agent who has been critical of the US WoT, discusses Al Qaeda's minimal historical reach in the Stans’, but argues that Bin Laden and his partners seek WMDs and recruits in the region.
  • Roots of Radical Islam in Central Asia” by Martha Brill Olcott – This is an extensive piece cataloging the influential Islamic leaders and trends in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan from the early 20th century until today.
  • Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background” CRS Report for Congress by Christopher M. Blanchard – A short summary of the meaning, history, and extremist implications of Islamic madrasas throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia. The madrasas’ effect on transnational terrorism and Afghanistan and Pakistan stability is especially explored.

These last two are shorter 1,2 page pieces:

  • Central Asia: Hizb-ut-Tahrir on the Rise” by Samantha Brletich – The article asserts HT, a professed non-violent group, is growing ‘more militant’ and argues that repressive measures by Uzbekistan's President Karimov and recent similar policies by neighboring Kyrgyzstan are only aiding the group's struggle for political potency.
  • Islamist Stirrings in the 'stans” by Jack Fairweather – Fairweather attempts to discover the reasons behind the recent rise in fundamental Islamist leanings in the region, finding that influence from money, madrasas, and religious leaders from the Gulf states is having quite the impact.
 

Author

Patrick Frost

Patrick Frost recently graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science - International Relations. His MA thesis analyzed the capabilities and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Central Asia and beyond and explored how these affected U.S. interests and policy.

Areas of Focus:
Eurasia, American Foreign Policy, Ideology, SCO

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