RealNews

Militant Islamists from Uzbekistan at heart of Central Asian revolt

Militant Islamist groups from Central Asia took heavy losses while fighting alongside the Taliban, but the remnants of those mini-armies have proved remarkably resilient in recent months and now appear to be regrouping with new recruits, new strategies and old money. No longer secure in Afghanistan, hundreds of Uzbek, Tajik and Chinese militants have recently returned to familiar sanctuaries back home. Analysts believe they’re retrenching at their former camps and hideouts, mostly in the rugged and unpoliced mountains of Tajikistan. These old-school fighters are being joined by waves of new recruits, most of whom were moderate Muslims until becoming radicalized by harsh religious crackdowns in Uzbekistan and China. Police corruption and harassment, state-sponsored torture and desperate economic conditions have only heightened the anger and militancy, according to regional diplomats, political analysts and human rights workers. Full Story

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