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The Central Asian Militants: Cannon Fodder of Global Jihadism or Revolutionary Vanguard?

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Anna Matveeva, Antonio Giustozzi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Published4 Mar 2018

King's Authors

Abstract

Central Asians have long been present within the ranks of organisations linked to the global jihad movement, but has there been an acceleration in their recruitment in recent years? There is growing evidence of substantial numbers of Central Asians (mostly Uzbeks and Tajiks) present in Syria in the ranks of the Islamic State and of a number of organisations linked to Al-Qaida. There is also growing evidence of recruitment inside Kyrgizstan and Tajikistan at least (as opposed as among Central Asian emigrants). The authors argue that distrust towards information provided by the Central Asian regimes should not blind analysts towards an emerging trend, which has substantial destabilising potential. The factors driving this recruitment also seem to be much more complex than a rejection of the authoritarianism of the ruling elites.

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