01 Jun 2011

Central Asian Islamism in the spotlight

Marlène Laruelle

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In recent years, terrorist actions have increased in Central Asia, especially in the two weakest states, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and on the Uzbek side of the Ferghana Valley. The killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces has raised fears of a possible backlash from his supporters and a new wave of terror across a large area surrounding Afghanistan. Now the Taliban have warned Kazakhstan – Central Asia’s most successful economy and largest oil producer which has to date avoided the Islamist violence that has affected its Central Asian neighbours – of the dangers of entering the war on Afghanistan after the Kazakh parliament decided to send troops to join the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) war efforts.