Terrorism in Central Asia
Terrorism in Central Asia is largely a cross-border phenomenon. The source of most terrorists and terrorist organizations that operate in Central Asia is Afghanistan due to the former presence of the Taliban, and the Ferghana Valley due to the Tajik Civil War.1
The Chinese and Kyrgyz governments increased security along their borders with each other and Tajikistan on 11 January 2007 after Chinese government officials expressed concern that "international terrorists" were traveling through Xinjiang and Central Asia to carry out attacks. The warning followed a high profile raid on a training camp in Akto County, Xinjiang run by East Turkestan Islamic Movement members. General Sadyrbek Dubanayev, deputy chief of Kyrgyzstan's border guards, said, "After the announcement of the special operation by the Chinese side, we briefed everyone [security authorities on the Kyrgyz side] and then Kyrgyzstan and China decided to increase security along the border."
United States Congressional testimony
A. Elizabeth Jones, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, testified on the threat of terrorism in Central Asia before the U.S. House of Representatives' subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia on 29 October 2003. Jones said the greatest threats to the Central Asian states are the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which she described as an Islamic terrorist organization, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, which praises attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. She said that despite the death of IMU leader Juma Namangani, the "IMU is still active in the region – particularly in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan – and it represents a serious threat to the region and therefore to our interests."
John Negroponte, the United States Director of National Intelligence, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an annual review of security threats on 11 January 2007 that the "repression, leadership stasis and corruption that tend to characterize these regimes [in Central Asia] provide fertile soil for the development of radical Islamic sentiment and movements, and raise the questions about the Central Asian states' reliability as energy and counterterrorism partners."
Afghanistan and Pakistan terrorist training
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on 24 June 2005 that members of the Taliban, IMU, and other terrorist organizations trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan for carrying out attacks in Central Asia and Russia. Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani denied that terrorists trained in Pakistan, citing the appreciation of the United States for the Pakistani government's support in the War on Terror.
The governments of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran participated in an anti-terrorism conference on 14 July 2005 focusing on preventing attacks against oil and natural gas pipelines in the Caspian Sea. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended.
- Vitaly V. Naumkin. Radical Islam in Central Asia, Between Pen and Rifle, ISBN 0-7425-2930-4
- Lutz Kleveman. The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia, Grove Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8021-4172-2
- Ahmed Rashid. Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, Yale University, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09345-4
- U.S.: Diplomat sees growing terrorism challenge in Central Asia RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
- US warns of instability in Central Asia NDTV
- Pakistan denies Russian charges on terrorist training RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
- Caspian states hold anti-terrorism talks RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty