Kazakh expert writes book about Kazakhstan terrorists from Soldiers of Caliphate

11 января 2015, 15:26
Kazakh members of Soldiers of the Caliphate (from left to right): Znaliev Damir, Khabidolla Rinat, Munatov Urynbasar ©Roza Yessenkulova
Kazakh members of Soldiers of the Caliphate (from left to right): Znaliev Damir, Khabidolla Rinat, Munatov Urynbasar ©Roza Yessenkulova

Kazakh political expert Yerlan Karin has presented his new book where he summed up his study of the terrorist organisation known Soldiers of the Caliphate.

It was found that the terrorist organization that was previously believed to be led by a Kazakhstani national was in fact led by a Belgian citizen, Tengrinews reports citing Yerlan Karin who presented his new book Soldiers of the Caliphate: Myths and Reality on November 21 in the Academy of the National Security Committee in Almaty.

The book is a result of many months of research and study of 10 years of cases stored in the archives of the Prosecutor General’s Office - from 2003 to 2013. He explored activities of the 13-member terrorist group, three of whom were Kazakhstanis (Rinat Khabidolla, Urynbasar Munatov and Damir Znaliyev), from its inception on the Internet to its neutralization by special services.

The group was formed in 2011. On October 31, 2011 two explosions alarmed Atyrau city in Kazakhstan's west, one of which was a suicide attack by a 24-year old Baurzhan Sultangaliyev raised by a religious stepfather. The attack claimed no other lives except for that of the suicide bomber. The same day the Soldiers of the Caliphate too the responsibility for the terror attack.

The investigation process and files were classified. On November 7, the Prosecutor General declared they arrested members of an organized crime group over the bombings that they arranged to"intimidating the law enforcement and other government agencies" of Kazakhstan.

The group was thereafter outlawed by the government of Kazakhstan.

Rinat Khabidolla posted statements with threats against Kazakhstan and took upon himself the responsibility for the terror attacks in Atyrau and for police attacks in Taraz, a Southern Kazakhstan city. The organization wanted to spread jihad in the country.

At the presentation of his book Karin spoke about the current fate of the terrorists from Kazakhstan: "One of the Kazakhstanis, Urynbasar Munatov who was in the group, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The second one - was arrested by Turkish law enforcement authorities when illegally crossing the Iranian-Turkish border, and now his transfer to Kazakhstan is being negotiated. The third one is in Syria.”

He noted that militants from Kazakhstan did not dominate the terrorist organisation quantitatively, but nevertheless were among its most active members, in particular Rinat Khabidolla. The Kazakhstanis even formed their own separate unit called al-Zahir Baybars Battalion.

When completing his book Karin traveled to France, the USA, Afghanistan and Turkey to talk to the experts, journalists and political analysts. The research group also traveled to various regions of Kazakhstan. They spoke to relatives and friends of the convicted extremists. On the last stage, there were interviews with the persons connected to the organization who were convicted and imprisoned. 

An official of the Academy of National Security Committee suggested issuing Karin’s book as a brochure for students to raise awareness among the population of Kazakhstan.
Reporting by Roza Yessenkulova, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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