King's College London

Research portal

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Anna Matveeva, Antonio Giustozzi

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

King's Authors


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.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454