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Islamic State poses serious threat to Kazakhstan: Satpayev 25 сентября 2014, 21:25

Well-known Kazakh political scientists Dosym Satpayev advises not to downplay the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorists.
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Islamic State militants ©voanews.com Islamic State militants ©voanews.com

Kazakhstan should take the threat posed by the radical group Islamic State more seriously, famous Kazakh political analyst and head of Risk Assessment Group Dosym Satpayev said in an interview to Megapolis newspaper.

According to the newspaper a video appeared in the social networks in mid-September purporting to show Kazakhstanis fighting on the side of the Islamic militants and saying they were ready to declare jihad on Kazakhstan.

Satpayev said that the danger of the "Islamic Caliphate" was very real. "It all started with threats to the Caucasus and Central Asia in general but now they have started calling the countries by name," he said.

“There is information that some of the so-called Mujahideen, having received necessary combat experience, are going back to their home countries. In particular, such reports came from the UK, France and Germany. And when the talk is about the possible risks to our country connected to participation of our citizens in the fighting on the side of the IS or Taliban, the emphasis is on the fact that their return to Kazakhstan may change the balance of power in the radical underground,” Satpayev said.

Satpayev said that the return of the citizens with experience in sabotage activities could lead to creation of new formations from various factions of radical Islamists and intensification of terrorist activities.

This view is shared by Yevgeny Satanovsky, President of the Middle East Institute, who believes that the catastrophe of Islamic Caliphate in Iraq may repeat itself in Afghanistan and then spread to Central Asia.

In an interview to Uznews.net the Russian expert said that he considered Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan the most vulnerable regions in Central Asia. Talking about the returning militants, Satanovskiy noted that such professionals were not only a mobile military force that could stir any region at the right time but were also ideal recruiters, especially of the youth.

Worrying is that Satpayev has not shown confidence in the ability of Kazakhstani security services to face such new challenges. "It is sufficent to recall the massacre in a national park near Almaty: even amateurish approach can cause a big stir in the power structures of Kazakhstan. It was then revealed that the radicals were outside the control of our special services," Satpayev said.

Citizens of all Central Asian countries are fighting for IS but their exact number is unknown. However, several days ago another Kazakhstani political scientist Yerlan Karin said that around 250 Kazakhstan-born militants participated on the side of Islamists in Syria. He was citing open Syrian sources. 

All the experts agreed that participation of Kazakhstanis in the conflict is an alarming issue. 

“If we imagine that these veterans return to our region (...), it is quite possible that they will try creating a new organization in our region that will then try to establish close ties with the IS and Taliban and other radical groups in Afghanistan to strike a powerful blow firstly to the most weakened sections on the border with Tajikistan and Turkmenistan," Satpayev said.

By Dinara Urazova

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