CIA Manipulating Lebanese Sunni Islamists (Muslim Bro.) To Challenge Shiite Islamists (Hezbollah)

Future Movement still absent from Tripoli anti-Assad protests

By Antoine Amrieh

The Daily Star

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: The Future Movement has yet to participate in demonstrations in the northern city of Tripoli in support of the Syrian people, leaving it to Islamist groups to protest the violent crackdown by Damascus.

Expressing solidarity with the Syrian people has brought together several Islamist movements despite their diversity and significant differences, uniting them in confronting the Syrian government, sources close to the Future Movement said Wednesday.

Though Tripoli is home to Islamist groups such as al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Salafist Movement, the majority of the city’s large Sunni community supports the Future Movement and its former allies turned political foes, including Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi.

But despite their relatively small popular base, the Salafist Movement and Hizb ut-Tahrir have succeeded in bringing thousands of people to the streets after evening prayers over the past few weeks, as sheikhs call on believers to express their support for the Syrian people.

The mounting anger of the groups toward the Syrian leadership has also led to increasing tensions with Hezbollah, which maintains its support for President Bashar Assad and his government.

Protesters in Tripoli have shown their hostility toward Hezbollah by burning the party’s flag during demonstrations and other acts that threaten to exacerbate divisions between the country’s Sunni and Shiite communities.

The sources believe that the protests organized by Islamist groups demonstrate Mikati’s failure to lure these groups to his side, leading to more pressure on him and his ministers in his hometown of Tripoli and among the ranks of its Sunni community.

The sources added that Mikati cannot come out against his supporters who are expressing their support for the Syrian people, as it would increase tensions among communities in Tripoli and undermine his popularity among its residents.

But as the protests condemning the Syrian authorities take place on a nearly daily basis, a number of officials who do not belong to Islamist movements have also rallied in solidarity with the Syrian people, the sources said.

Arabi Akkawi is a member of Tripoli’s municipal council who recently called on his supporters “to participate in movements to express solidarity with the Syrian people, particularly since Tripoli experienced the actions of the Syrian regime for several decades.”

The face-off between rival March 8 and March 14 camps over the country’s official position on the growing crisis in Syria has heated up, as Damascus faces growing diplomatic isolation in the region.

The Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition continues to defend the Syrian regime, while the Future Movement-led March 14 alliance maintains its criticism of Syrian authorities, even accusing them of crimes against humanity.

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

British government begins stealing its peoples’ bank deposits ahead of the global financial collapse.

British government begins stealing its peoples’ bank deposits ahead of the global financial collapse.

A police officer ordered by the government to rob the people.

It happened before and it is starting again.  Government confiscating (stealing) the people’s life savings.  Just like in 1929 the British government began its theft of the people’s life savings just before the Great Depression.  After an inflationary run-up in prices and asset values, the stock market crashed in 1929, and the economy soon went with the crash.  This time the British government is disguising its outright theft by claiming the entire contents of safety deposit banks are owned by criminals and the contents are the proceeds of crimes.

In March of 2011 the British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered British police to execute Operation Rize –  raid and seize the entire contents (art, gold ingots, gold dust, jewelery and cash) of nearly 7,000 safety deposit boxes from three vaults in London.  The British government simply told Scotland Yard that the safety deposit boxes were used by criminals to store cash, guns and drugs.

The British government instructed the police to arrest anyone who went to the vaults to try and recover the contents of their safety deposit boxes.  Those who protested the seizure of the contents of their safety deposit boxes were  to be charged with various offenses including pedophilia, money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms possession.

When word spread about the government raid and theft of the contents of their safety deposit boxes people rushed to the bank vaults.  The police arrested 146 and charged 30 (those with the most cash and gold in their safety deposit boxes) with trumped up pedophilia, money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms charges.

Armed robbery of bank safety deposit boxes by London Police

This isn’t the first time the British government ordered the seizure of its people’s deposits. Back in June 2008, 1 year after the global economic crisis began, policearmed with automatic weapons (shown in above image) were ordered by Gordon Brown to seize (to take by force) thousands of deposit boxes, ranging from small book-sized boxes to large walk-in safes in a string of west London raids.  Armed robbery is defined as a crime ” involving the use of a weapon in the taking of money or goods in the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate presence“.

The contents of safety deposit boxes were stolen by the British government from Park Lane Safe Depository in Park Street, Hampstead Safe Depository in Finchley Road, and Edgware Safe Depository in High Street, Edgware.

The British government came up with the idea back in 2006.  The British government needed new money and the only new and real money was being held by the people in safety deposit boxes.  The government can’t tax what is sitting for years in thousands of safety deposit boxes so they decided to confiscate it all.  The confiscation of the people’s money was codenamed Operation Rize.  Operation Rize being code for Ruse. The ruse is the British government labeling all safety deposit box owners as criminals in order to steal the valuable contents of their safety deposit boxes.  Every safety deposit box in the largest vaults in London were ordered raided based entirely on the British government’s assertion that a handful of safety deposit box owners were suspected of being corrupt.

Why is this significant for people in the United States?  The U.S. government is preparing to do the same in the United States.

The U.S. government has been stealing its people’s money since 2008 and the only real money ($trillions) left in the United States is being kept in its peoples’ safety deposit boxes.  The U.S. government has lost its prized AAA rating and the S&P made it known that it could drop it again in November.  Yesterday,Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, said the U.S. currency (the worthless Federal Reserve Note) is being “gradually discarded by the world,” and the “process will be irreversible.”  Because of the rating downgrade and foreign governments dropping the worthless Federal Reserve Note, the U.S. government is being forced by the Federal Reserve bankers to make preparations to confiscate the people’s valuable financial assets held in safety deposit boxes across the U.S. by using the same false accusation as the British government – all safety deposit box owners are criminals and the contents of those boxes deemed to be criminal proceeds.

Government confiscation (theft) of its peoples gold dates back to the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson was forced by the bankers of the newly formed Federal Reserve to sign the “TWEA” into law, forbidding American individuals and businesses from engaging in trade with “enemy nations.” The world’s functional gold standard, which had overseen tremendous global economic growth in the early years of the twentieth century, was effectively halted by the Federal Reserve bankers and the outbreak of World War I soon followed.  With gold no longer being the standard for trade (the worthless counterfeit Federal Reserve Note replaced it) the stage was thus set for the Great Depression and World War II.

Shortly after taking office sixteen years later, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was forced by the Federal Reserve bankers to sign Executive Order 6102 into law, prohibiting the “hoarding” of gold. Under this Federal Reserve order, Americans were prohibited from owning more than $100 worth of gold coins, and all “hoarders” (i.e. people who owned more than $100 worth of gold) were forced, by law, to sell their “excess” gold to the Federal Reserve bankers at the prevailing price of $20.67 per ounce.

Then, once the Federal Reserve bankers had all the gold, FDR revalued the dollar relative to gold so that gold was now worth $35 an ounce. By simple decree, the Federal Reserve bankers had thereby robbed millions of American citizens at a rate of $14.33 per ounce of confiscated gold, which is why most historians agree that the Gold Confiscation of 1933 was the single most draconian economic act in the history of the United States – that is until the Federal Reserve bankers did it again 75 years later.

On November 24, 2008, U.S. Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) wrote, “In bailing out failing companies, they are confiscating money from productive members of the economy and giving it to failing ones. By sustaining companies with obsolete or unsustainable business models, the government prevents their resources from being liquidated and made available to other companies that can put them to better, more productive use. An essential element of a healthy free market, is that both success and failure must be permitted to happen when they are earned. But instead with a bailout, the rewards are reversed – the proceeds from successful entities are given to failing ones. How this is supposed to be good for our economy is beyond me…. It won’t work. It can’t work… It is obvious to most Americans that we need to reject corporate cronyism, and allow the natural regulations and incentives of the free market to pick the winners and losers in our economy, not the whims of bureaucrats and politicians.

Day of Reckoning

Day of Reckoning

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

The trigger that apparently caused the market meltdown was the ever-so-slight suggestion from Standard & Poor’s that the US government’s fiscal health might not be all that it is cracked up to be.

This was not a case of the little boy noting the emperor has no clothes. It is more like the little boy suggested that the emperor’s clothes, while beautiful, might have been more carefully tailored to suit the imperial dignity. Hysteria followed, and the entire Obama cult called for the kid to be stoned.

Finally the emperor himself spoke in defense of his rainment. That’s when the market crashed.

But the downgrading of a government’s debt from AAA to AA+ can only have triggered a market avalanche if the truth is in fact much worse, and most everyone knows it.

S&P doesn’t have clean hands, of course. It holds a government monopoly, wants higher taxes, and rated crazed housing bonds AAA. But imagine, for just a moment, that US government debt were rated in the same way that municipal bonds or regular corporate debt are. Imagine that government bonds, like normal bonds, carried a default premium. Imagine, in other words, that the Federal Reserve were not in a position to pay everyone from welfare recipients to banksters with newly created money.

Under such actual market conditions, federal debt would not be rated as AA+. It would be worth even less than junk bonds. In fact, it wouldn’t even qualify for a market rating at all, because it would be utterly worthless and the institution that issued it would be in default and the whole rotten apparatus of the state would be seen to be bankrupt at its very core, in every sense.

We know this for one simple reason: There is no way that the government can fund its debt on taxes alone. There would be a revolution in this country in a heartbeat, and, probably, the entire American empire, domestic and foreign, would come crashing down, along with its banking and monetary systems.

If this actually happened, there would be no more “ongoing negotiations” about the budget and the debt. The cuts would be swift, extreme, gigantic. The federal government would have to behave like state governments, balancing the budget year to year. There would be no more plans for fake cuts in the planned increases, gradually phased in over ten years. The federal government would face actual market discipline. The S&P downgrade is only a slight taste of what would follow.

And let’s not just look at the downside. Hundreds of billions in resources would be freed from government control. The private sector would experience a huge infusion of energy. Interest rates would probably go through the roof, which means that people would actually be rewarded for saving, and saving is exactly what people would do as hundreds of banks went belly-up, large portions of the business sector had their credit lines cut, and merchants of death had to close their bloody doors.

There would be wailing and gnashing of teeth, but there would be no turning back. Within a few months, we would start seeing massive resource shifts and pockets of growth would return. New jobs would be available. New businesses would spring up. New financial firms would displace the old ones. Within a year or 18 months, we would be on a growth path, and this time it would be real and sustainable.

Of course this is not going to happen. Instead, the powers-that-be will continue their long game of “let’s pretend” as the economy sinks deeper and deeper, incomes fall, and the US gradually heads toward 3rd-world basket case status.

It’s not only the government that is bankrupt, of course. It’s the entire ideological apparatus that backs the state and its eternal expansion. TheNew York Times struggled for something to say about the obvious failure of the second stimulus. All they could come up with was: “shift every available resource toward jobs,” “increased investment in infrastructure,” more relief for homeowners, and another extension of unemployment benefits.

The only thing that this asinine editorial left out was the need to lower interest rates. And that’s because interest rates are already 0%, which has killed saving, terminated growth, and denied the public the fundamental freedom to sock away money in time deposits and let it earn something in exchange. The Federal Reserve is completely out of policy options, unless it is ready to embrace the Zimbabwe-Weimar solution.

Of course, the whole theory that the government can stimulate through control and robbery is wrong and counterproductive. It only ends up rewarding government and its friends while the rest of us suffer. If we ever get out of this depression, it will be because government is forced to stop this nonsense, and the economy really stimulated by taking a meat axe to the planning-spending-inflating apparatus.

This is the underlying reality that informed traders understand. The whole system is being propped up by the power to print, and that power alone. No matter how many miracles some people think that paper money can accomplish, there is an underlying realization that the whole system is a hoax.

But don’t take my word for it. Let S&P and many more competitive rating agencies go to town on US bonds and rate them as they would any bond in the private sector or even the public sector not backed by a printing press. Let reality speak, and let us listen.

August 10, 2011

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail], former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com. See his books.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com

Reports: Uzbeks block Internet sites

Reports: Uzbeks block Internet sites

By PETER LEONARD, Associated Press

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Authorities in Uzbekistan have blocked dozens of Internet sites in an apparent attempt to further stem the flow of information into the authoritarian Central Asian nation, online media said Thursday.

Uzbekistan-focused independent news portal UzNews.net said that The New York Times and other major Western media outlets have been made unavailable as of this week. It also said that out of 65 Russia-based news websites, at least 29 appear to have been made unavailable to Internet users inside the country. Uzbeks draw most of the news about their country from Russian-language websites.

Central Asian news portal Ferghana and the editor of Uzbekistan-based news service Vesti.uzhave reported a number of domestic sites going offline. Sites operating from neighboring Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also appear to have been affected.

Uzbekistan has been ruled for more than two decades by President Islam Karimov, who tolerates no dissent and harshly clamps down on all opposition to his regime.

U.S. advocacy group Freedom House gives Uzbekistan its lowest possible ranking for media freedoms. It says authorities have “purged the country of independent media” and continue to harass journalists whose version of events in Uzbekistan challenges the official account.

Authorities have routinely filtered foreign sites that carry detailed news on Uzbekistan for several years.

Reporters for most major international news agencies, including The Associated Press, are routinely refused accreditation to report from Uzbekistan.

A major wave of censorship was enacted in 2005, after government troops violently suppressed an uprising in the eastern town of Andijan. Authorities say 187 people died, but witnesses and rights activists say the real number was much higher.

The websites of the BBC and international German broadcaster Deutsche Welle have been blocked for several years, but UzNews say banned sites now also include those of The New York Times, The Financial Times and Reuters news agency.

The blockage of all new sources of information “bears witness to how worried Uzbek authorities are about the influence of the Internet on social activism,” said Daniil Kislov, editor of Ferghana, which has also long been inaccessible in Uzbekistan.

Kislov says that the Uzbek government is also growing increasingly alarmed at indications that exiled opposition groups are starting to mobilize and at possible incursion from militants in neighboring Afghanistan.

Uzbek President refuses to participate in CSTO informal summit

Uzbek President refuses to participate in CSTO informal summit

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov did not confirm his participation in the CSTO informal summit in Astana on August 12. Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha made it public after his meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov on Wednesday.

“I have no information that the President of Uzbekistan will attend the summit. Once he talked about the intention to participate in the summit. A few days ago he refused to participate,” Bordyuzha told journalists.

All the rest heads of state will attend the top level meeting. The organization’s member states are not expected to sign any documents, says CSTO head.

Study Reveals 168 Child Deaths In Pakistan Drone War

Study Reveals 168 Child Deaths In Pakistan Drone War

 

US drone strikes in Pakistan have killed more civilians than previously reported, including 168 children, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

A Reaper drone takes off from a US airbase. (Getty)

Remote-controlled US drones have been targeting militants in Pakistan for seven years – in a covert war led by the CIA.

The airstrikes are largely focused on the mountainous areas of Waziristan near the border withAfghanistan.

In December 2010, Channel 4 News spoke to witnesses on the ground who said that women and children had perished in the bombing raids, as well as rebel fighters.

Now, a detailed study by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has been published containing new figures on civilian casualties.

Its findings suggest that the number of ordinary people killed could be 40 per cent higher than previously reported and that as many as 168 children have died since the strikes began.

Commenting on the findings, Unicef said: “Even one child death from drone missiles or suicide bombings is one child death too many.

“Children have no place in war and all parties should do their utmost to protect children from violent attacks at all times.”

The drone reports so far have been made from listening to intelligence agencies chatter in Peshawar and Islamabad which is ironic as it’s only the victor’s history.Mirza Shahzad Akbar

The database put together by TBIJ is based on more than 2,000 media reports, witness testimonies, NGO field reports, secret US government cables, leaked intelligence documents and accounts from lawyers, journalists, politicians and former intelligence officers.

Chris Woods, who led the study, said: “The CIA’s insistence that it is not killing civilians in Pakistan is at odds with the reported evidence.”

In response, a senior US official has told Channel 4 News that “the claims of extensive non-combatant casualties are uncorroborated”.

The source explained: “Our information is by far the most accurate because we have real-time eyes on the targets, as well as multiple other forms of collection to assess who may have been killed. Nobody is arguing perfection over the life of the policy, but this [the use of drones] remains the most precise system we’ve ever had in our arsenal.”

Speaking to Channel 4 News in December 2010 former CIA officer Mike Baker said: “People who argue that any secrets or covert operations are terrible and must be exposed have never operated in the real world.”

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism's key findings:
- Since 2004 a minimum of 291 drone strikes have been launched by the US - almost 10 per cent more attacks than previously understood.
- A minimum of 2,292 people is reported killed in the attacks - 40 per cent more than generally reported. The number may be as high as 2,863.
- The Bureau has identified 126 named militants killed.
- At least 385 civilians have been killed, with a possible upper figure of 775.
- Some 168 children have reportedly been killed in the drone strikes - 56 of them during President Obama's first 20 months in office.
Drone base.
In pictures: Pakistan drone war

Legal battle

Lawyer Mirza Shahzad Akbar is mounting legal proceedings on behalf of 25 families whose relatives have been killed in drone strikes.

He brought about the first ever case against the CIA when Kareem Khan (pictured below), a Pakistani journalist, began a campaign for justice following the deaths of his son and brother in Mirali in December 2009.

Pakistani journalist Kareem Khan. (Reuters)

Mr Akbar told Channel 4 News he believes TBIJ’s study will help these people get their voices heard.

He said: “The drone reports so far have been made from listening to intelligence agencies chatter in Peshawar and Islamabad which is ironic as it’s only the victor’s history.”

He said that this resulted in civilian victims being “overlooked”.

He added: “TBIJ work is important in this regard and I believe it will strengthen our stance that there is a larger number of civilian deaths then reported and we need to independently investigate.

“Once we settle this basic question then we can move on to redressing the harm done to victim families.”

Latest Pakistan drone attack

A drone operation this week killed 28 people and injured a further eight in a missile attack on a compound at Miramshah in North Waziristan.

“The drone first fired one missile and hit the building, killing most of them standing in the courtyard of the house. Ten minutes later, it fired another missile and hit remaining portion of the small building and razed it to the ground,” a Taliban commander said, according to a Channel 4 News source.

It is believed the dead included Arab, Afghan, Punjabi and tribal militants who had gathered to leave for neighbouring Afghanistan to fight against US-led Nato forces.

The Taliban sources said the militants had just eaten their sehri or breakfast and were busy in picking up their guns and other items when came under drone attack.

Fighters who shot down US chopper are alive: Taliban

[Gen. John Allen has named one Mullah Mohibullah as the Taliban responsible for downing the Special Forces Chinook, claiming that he has been killed.  That would be a nice trick, if true, since coalition forces killed Mohibullah in his prison cell last year.  Mohibullah is one of the former inmates at Guantanamo (prisoner 546), until his release in 2007.]

“Based on reports from Arghandab, coalition troops entered the Arghandab district prison at 9:30 p.m. Sunday and killed a detainee named Mullah Mohibullah,” Karzai’s office said.

Fighters who shot down US chopper are alive: Taliban

By Sardar Ahmad (AFP) – 2 hours ago

KABUL — The Taliban insisted Thursday that the fighters who shot down a US helicopter, killing 38 troops in Afghanistan, were still alive, despite a US announcement that they had been killed.

US General John Allen, commander of the NATO-led international force in Afghanistan, said Wednesday that those responsible for the biggest single loss of American life in the 10-year war had been killed in an air strike.

But Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP: “This is not true. After seeing the enemy statement, we contacted the mujahed (fighter) who shot down the helicopter and he’s not dead. He’s busy conducting jihad elsewhere in the country.”

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, Mujahid said four “ordinary” Taliban fighters had been killed in the US air strike but that they had not been the ones who shot down the helicopter.

He also said the fighter responsible had since left Wardak province, where the crash took place in the restive district of Sayd Abad.

The Taliban is known to exaggerate and distort its public statements as part of a propaganda campaign accompanying its 10-year campaign to evict the US-led troops who ousted it from power in the 2001 invasion.

Thirty US troops, including 25 members of the elite special forces, were killed with seven Afghan commandos and an interpreter in the crash last week.

It was the deadliest single incident for the US-led force in the decade-long Afghanistan war.

Citing intelligence, a senior Afghan official told AFP on condition of anonymity this week that the helicopter was brought down in a Taliban trap designed to lure international forces to the scene.

Allen said the Chinook had been sent in as part of an operation targeting a Taliban leader, who is still at large.

“The intelligence that had been generated to this point led us to believe there was an enemy network in the Tangi Valley in the Wardak province, and the purpose of this mission was to go after the leadership of that network,” the general said.

When “less than 10″ insurgent fighters were seen “escaping,” the Chinook helicopter was ordered in to head them off, he said.

The CH-47 was then shot out of the sky with a rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 38 people on board.

Afterwards, US forces tracked the insurgents responsible, calling in an air strike late Monday with an F-16 fighter.

The insurgents were traced over the weekend to a wooded area elsewhere in Wardak “after an exhaustive manhunt” by special forces, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

The air strike killed the “shooter” as well as a Taliban militant, Mullah Mohibullah, as they “were attempting to flee the country in order to avoid capture,” ISAF said.

Taliban Talker Quits Crummy Little “Negotiations” Game

Disrupted dialogue: Purported Taliban negotiator ‘goes missing’

Mullah Omar’s former spokesperson Tayyab Agha can no longer be traced. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: It may have been just talk after all.

A purported Taliban official mediating with the Americans can no longer be traced, frustrating the US attempts to hold another round of talks as they seek a negotiated settlement to the decade-old conflict in Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

Former US defence secretary Robert Gates had confirmed late June that the US was holding ‘outreach’ talks with members of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It was the first time the US had acknowledged such contact.  A day prior to that statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai had also disclosed that the US had been in contact with the Taliban.

While Gates and Karzai confirmed talks with the Taliban, they did not disclose the name of the Taliban leader involved in the reported talks.

The media, however, reported that US officials met Tayyab Agha, a close confidant of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Agha, an ethnic Pashtun from Kandahar, also served as Mullah Omar’s spokesperson and the first secretary in the Taliban-led Afghan embassy in Pakistan during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

An Afghan leader familiar with the negotiation process said that the US has made frantic efforts to contact Agha for further talks but there has been no success so far.  “Agha has not yet been traced and is believed to have gone either to Qatar or the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

Agha’s mandate

They’ve held talks with him earlier but the Americans and Afghans are still unsure if Agha had a mandate from the top Taliban leadership to enter into negotiations, an Islamabad-based Afghan diplomat, requesting not to be named, told The Express Tribune.

The issue of Agha’s mandate came under discussion at the Afghan Presidency when US officials shared information with President Hamid Karzai, the diplomat said.

An Afghan leader familiar with the negotiations said that Agha was annoyed at the disclosure of the secret talks to the media by Karzai and Gates.

Agha, and those behind the negotiations, did not want the matter to appear in the media unless there was some progress.

The Taliban have always denied any talks but Western and Afghan leaders insist that channels of communication with the Taliban have always stayed open.

A leader of another Afghan opposition party confirmed to The Express Tribune that indirect contacts between the Taliban and the US had always been intact.

Meanwhile, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, former Taliban ambassador in Pakistan and once a close aide of Mullah Omar, doubts any talks were held between the US and Agha.

“I do not have any exact information if the talks have been held but I can say that statements by Afghan and US leaders in the media make the process appear doubtful,” Zaeef told The Express Tribune last week from Kabul via phone.

Published in The Express Tribune

Islam in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Islam in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

The Nurcu Movement and the Hizb ut Tahrir

Revised on December 23, 2003

Introduction

Discussions on Islam is always a controversial topic for Central Asians. When I was in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan between the years 1997-1999, the Wahhabis and Taliban were considered the main threat to the region and Islam. Central Asians, including many Muslims, were worried that the Wahhabis and/or Taliban would force their archaic brand of Islam on them. The bombings in Tashkent, in 1999, and the incursions of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan into southern Kyrgyzstan heightened their fears even more.

Despite their perceptual fears of the Taliban and Wahhabis by the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, these two extremist groups had relatively no influence with the Muslims in both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan I have met (Muslim in this context means a Muslim who practices and follows the 5 Pillars of Islam (Shahadah, Salat (Namaz), Ramadan (Ramazan), Zakat, and Hajj). On the other hand, other groups did have a strong influence on Muslims. One such group of Muslims was known as the Nurcu (pronounced Nur-ju).

Top

The Nurcu Movement

Nurcu Schools

Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceum in Jalal Abad, Kygyzstan
(Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceum in Jalal Abad, Kyrgyzstan)

Nurcus are Turkish Muslims who follow the teachings of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and/or Fetullah Gulen (there are more than one group of Nurcus in Turkey). Said Nursi is famous for his books, “The Words” (for more information on Said Nursi and his works, visit: http://www.sozler.com.tr/). The Words have inspired many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, including myself. When Nursi Said died, Fetullah Gulen, currently exiled in Pennsylvania, USA, continued his teachings placing a very important relationship between religion and science (for more information on Fetullah Gulen, visit: http://www.fgulen.org/). In essence, a world governed by science alone results in moral decay, pollution, decadence, etc. A world governed only by religion results in lack of innovations, narrowmindness, etc. When combined, you get a world that mimics the past Islamic Caliphates (which ended with the Ottoman Sultanate). This is a world where Muslims are a strong entity because they have strong religious and scientific beliefs (an argument that easily be attested to if you watch PBS’s “Islam – Empire of Faith” http://www.pbs.org/empires/islam/).

Inspired by Fetullah Gulen’s teachings, many young Turkish Muslims (It should be noted that Nurcus do not call themselves Nurcu, per se. This is the term that has been given to them by other Muslims. Instead, Nurcus identify themselves more with the term, Hizmet (or any other Turkic versions of Hizmet such as Kuzmyet in Kazakh). Many young Turkish Nurcus who were educated in the Nurcu schools throughout Turkey left for Central Asia and the rest of the world to form new schools and universities. The most well known are the Turkish Lyceums, such as the Kazakh-Turkish Lyceums in Kazakhstan (Please note that the Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceums and other Turkish Lyceums throughout Central Asia and the world are not connected with each other. They are each, in themselves, different entities funded by various Nurcu business groups across Turkey). With these schools, many other Turkish Nurcus began arriving to teach in these schools.

Despite the schools current successes in Kazakhstan and the rest of Central Asia (excluding Uzbekistan where they were shut down), the Turkish Lyceums started to face resentment by Central Asians for being elitist in their selection process. Many of the students accepted to the schools were either children of government officials and/or children from well to do families. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including Muslims, were not being accepted into their schools (Unfortunately this is a common problem with the Nurcu movement in Central Asia, Turkey and the rest of the world. Emphasis seems to be always placed on the middle and upper class rather than the lower class. This is a problem that some Nurcus are trying to address with little or no success). This by far is not the only problem Nurcus face in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Nurcus are also slow to acknowledge that their form of Islam, considered extreme in relation to the moderate form of Islam practiced by Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, may be creating a rift between them and the main Muslim population in these two countries.

Turkish Nurcus are devout Muslims (definitely more devout than the Taliban and Wahhabis but not as extremist and narrow minded). Many had practiced their religion at home or in their dormitories most of their lives. To them, Islam is the only way of life. In Central Asia, on the other hand, many Central Asian Muslims are still new to Islam (with many even questioning the legitimacy of Islam in the region). Both groups follow the Hanafi school of thought in regards to Islam. The difference between the two is that the Kazakh and Kyrgyz tend to follow a more moderate interpretation of Islam than the Nurcus.

Instead of being acceptive of the views and practices of Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims, Turkish Nurcus have taken the route of “correcting” these Muslims, sometimes aggressively, using the Quran and Said Nursi’s “Words,” as their source of justification. In short, the Turkish Nurcus have adopted the “We are right, you are wrong” attitude in dealing with Central Asians (this is attributed to the Turkish thinking that they are the “Big Brothers” while Central Asians are their “Little Brothers.” which is greatly resented by Central Asians. A Turkish Nurcu Aby I once met explained to me that “Allah had chosen the Turks to rule over all other Muslims” as a premise for Nurcu Turks to enter Central Asia). Because of this attitude, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz have become distrustful of the Turks (In Kyrgyzstan, there is even a deep hatred of the Turks which I never really saw in Kazakhstan).

Despite some of the problems the Nurcus have faced in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Nurcu activities in these countries have not detered. Students in their schools are learning about Islam and I have met many who are quite happy to be “Nurcu” and Muslim. Other students I have met stated that they were glad to leave the school but none complained about being forced to learn Islam (many did mention that the Nurcus provided many opportunities to learn about Islam outside of the classroom). One major complaint, though, were from students who were accepted into exchange programs to the US. In Kyrgyzstan, any student who decided to take part in a US-sponsored exchange program (such as the one I admistered with the American Councils and Freedom Support Act) lost their diplomas (Ironically, in Turkey, Nurcus encouraged their students to study abroad, especially in the US where a large Nurcu population exists across the country). I complained to the Nurcu Abys in Turkey about this, at the request of several Kyrgyz students. Hopefully the matter will be looked into.

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Yeni Asya Waqf Nurcu Movement in Kazakhstan

Another offshoot of Said Nursi are the Nurcus associated with the Yeni Asya Waqf (for more information, visit their web site at: http://www.yeniasya.org.tr/ – in Turkish only). Their influence on Muslims in Kazakhstan are quite different from the other Nurcus who follow Fetullah Gulen. They primarily focus on Muslims who are not associated with the elite. They are very successful in attracting young Kazakh students to Islam (in Taraz, I met students from the local military academy who participated with this group. There were also many secondary school students participating). This group holds meetings at Darihanas (medresehs) in various parts of Kazakhstan. Many Nurcus also meet and pray at these locations too. While in Taraz, a popular Kazakh Aga attracted Muslims as far away as Turkmenistan. He did a great job in discussing “the Words.”

While Fetullah Gulen’s group gets criticized for dealing with only the elite, this group gets criticized by Kazakhs, many who do not consider themselves Muslim at all, for focusing on the poor and criminals (a big stereotype in Kazakhstan is that only the poor, young, old and criminals become Muslim). One Kazakh girl I met mentioned to me that she knew a Kazakh boy who used to commit crimes and now is a Muslim (not mentioning, of course, that the boy no longer commits crimes). When I met with this group in Taraz at one of their darihanas, I did see a mixture of poor and middle class students. Many adult Muslim males also attended these meetings (though sometimes at different times due to space considerations. Darihanas are generally crowded. More so than in the local central mosque. One big difference between these darihanas and the Kazakh-Turkish Lyceums were that there were no Turks in attendence. The Kazakhs led all aspects of prayer and teachings in the darihanas.

Overall, both Nurcu groups, Fetullah Gulen’s group and the Yeni Aysa Waqf group, should be praised for their work with the Central Asian youth and Islam. In countries such as Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, their work is praised by the population. They have even taken on the task of creating and running schools in the United States. Where most schools in the inner city fail, the schools run by these groups will succeed. They should be thanked for their hard work, despite some of the problems associated with this group.

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Islam in Karatau, Kazakhstan

When I lived in Karatau from 1997-1999, Islam had not taken a deep root yet. Turks did arrive to build a mosque in the center of town. Due to a lack of funding, the Turks left the year before I arrived in Karatau. In 1999, the Muslims in Karatau decided to finish the mosque on their own (they had asked for Saudi assistance but were turned down). Since there were relatively a few practicing Muslims in Karatau, this will be a long task to complete.

Many of my Kazakh students did know the Arabic verses which were part of the Muslim prayers. Most did not want to learn how to pray saying that only the little kids and older people pray in Kazakhstan. One of my older students mentioned that she was a Muslim in heart. For her that was the safest way to be a Muslim. A big criticism my students made about trying to learn about Islam is that there were too many people willing to teach it to them. They did not trust the Turks or Arabs. They definately did not trust any other Kazakh Muslim. They all felt these particular Muslims were all extremists (in some respect they may be right if you take into consideration that many of the Muslim missionaries want new Muslims to adopt Islam 100 percent after their conversion).

My students told me that they only way they would start practicing Islam was if they were taught by a Muslim who was not an Arab, Turk, or Central Asian. They said that if an American Muslim would teach them about Islam, they would listen. This is something many converts in the West as well as in the rest of the Muslim world should take notice if they want Kazakhstan and Central Asia Muslims to transition into a more moderate form of Islam.

One final note, I did meet a young mullah in Karatau. He was a physical education instructor at one of the local schools. We talked on several occasions about how Muslims pray. He even gave me a copy of the Quran for my birthday. This mullah had told me that he was educated in an Islamic university in Uzbekistan. That school would be later shut down by Uzbek authorities forcing him to return back to Karatau. I am curious to see what kind of progress he has made in my former Peace Corps site since I left Karatau in 1999.

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Epilogue:

Hizb ut Tahrir in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

One recent development since I left Central Asia that surprises most people was the emergence of the Hizb ut Tahrir in Central Asia. It amazes many Muslims outside the region that Central Asians are so fascinated with the Hizb ut Tahrir when many Muslims around the world do not even take this group seriously. The Hizb ut Tahrir has a credibility problem with Muslims. In short, since Muslims around the world do not take the Hizb ut Tahrir seriously, Muslims in Central Asia should also not take them seriously too.

That has not happened for several reasons. For one, all the Central Asian governments have declared the Hizb ut Tahrir an illegal organization (In the US and UK, Hizb ut Tahrir can operate legally though they have been banned in Germany for their anti-Semitic rheoteric). This, in turn, has marginalized the Hizb ut Tahrir helping them gain sympathy of the Central Asian people. A second reason why the Hizb ut Tahrir have not faded in Central Asia deals with the fact that the Hizb ut Tahir has managed to also garner sympathy of the media and journalists in Central Asia as well as the West. These media elements have kept the Hizb ut Tahrir in the limelight further increasing their popularity among Central Asians. A final reason that the Hizb ut Tahrir have not faded in Central Asia deals with academia focusing a lot of research on the Hizb ut Tahrir in the region. Many times, scholars, so-called experts on the region, and even the Hizb ut Tahrir themselves have overinflated Hizb ut Tahrir activities in the region for their own personal interests (stories about the Hizb ut Tahrir draws a lot of attention). As with the second reason, this makes the Hizb ut Tahrir a more attractive organization in Central Asia which adds to their continued presence in the region.

For the rest of the world, though, the Hizb ut Tahir are not an attractive organization. Many Muslims even laugh if you mention anything about the Hizb ut Tahrir. It is hard to say what their real intentions are in Central Asia but from my experience with both Muslims in Central Asia and Hizb ut Tahrir members, the Hizb ut Tahrir will never succeed in the region. They will fail much like they have failed in the rest of the Muslim world.

Kevin Miller, Jr
Peace Corps Volunteer – Kazakhstan (1997-1999)
Program Recruiter – ACIE(ACTR/ACCELS) – Kyrygzstan (1999)

Internet Resources about Islam and Central Asian Islam

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan: Current capabilities, purpose and lessons

By Hans-Inge Langø, on March 30th, 2011

Whatever happened to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan? The militant group bent on overthrowing President Islom Karimov’s regime in Uzbekistan came to prominence through some very public attacks in the late 1990s. Over a decade later, the group appears to be stuck in Pakistan’s tribal areas bearing little resemblance to the movement that once stirred up fear and prompted brutal government retaliation in Central Asia. In a four-part series Hegemonic Obsessions will explore the origins, evolution, and current state of the IMU. Part one covered the origins of the group, part two covered the movement’s split in 2002 and the 2005 massacre in Andijan, and part three covered an international crackdown of the group. This is part four.

Current organization

Since its inception in 1998, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has gone through many changes, prompted by both external and internal factors. The IMU of today is quite different from the group originally envisioned by Tohir Yuldashev and Juma Namangani. By most recent open-source estimates, the group is currently operating in North Waziristan in Pakistan and the southern areas of Afghanistan where the Haqqani network is prolific.[1] In addition, the IMU continues to be connected to terror plots in Europe, with Germany a particular area of recruitment for fighters and potential terrorists.

The Germany connection was highlighted in January 2011, when the IMU announced that Bekkay Harrach, an al Qaeda member raised in Bonn, had been killed in Afghanistan. Harrach achieved notoriety through a video released in 2009 where he claimed that Germany would be the target of terrorist attacks if the country did not withdraw from Afghanistan. He is but one of several Islamists who have left Germany to fight alongside jihadi groups such as al Qaeda, the IMU and Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) in Afghanistan. Several of them have been arrested or killed by coalition forces.[2]

Following the foiled terror plots in Europe in 2010, the IMU was once again tied to terrorist activities on March 2, 2011, when a gunman opened fire on several U.S. servicemen at Frankfurt airport. Two servicemen were killed and another two were wounded. A 21-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo was arrested and charged for the shooting. According to German officials, the man allegedly lived in the same block of flats as Rami M., a suspected terrorist with alleged links to the IMU.[3]

Recently, Uzbek militants have been the target of Afghan and coalition forces in Afghanistan’s northern provinces, indicating that the IMU has expanded its area of operations beyond southern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan.[4] The group is allegedly operating in Samangan, Balkh, Kunduz, and Takhar provinces. The latter three border on Tajikistan, while Balkh also borders on Uzbekistan. Afghan officials fear it is going to use Northern Afghanistan to launch attacks against the country’s northern neighbors.[5]

This has led the coalition forces to expand its efforts against Uzbek militants, and several IMU commanders were killed and captured recently in northern Afghanistan. [6] In addition, U.S. Special Forces have for several months, if not longer, had permission to enter Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan when conducting counterterrorism operations. The incursions are done on a case-by-case basis and with the permission of the host nation.[7]

Beyond the geographical relocation, how has the IMU evolved as an organization? The evolution of the IMU offers some lessons on how militant groups work, but it also highlights several dilemmas for the governments fighting such extremist organizations. Looking at how the group’s purpose and organization has changed over the last 13 years should give us some answers – or, at least, show us what areas need more research.

The purpose of the IMU

The IMU has proven difficult to classify as a group, and its operational approach, structure and apparent goals have evolved during its existence. The IMU’s stated goal has always been the creation of a Central Asian caliphate, but how they would achieve that aim has changed considerably, both because of choice but also by necessity. While the group was initially founded to topple the Karimov government, it quickly morphed into a group bent on international jihad. The IMU quickly learned that penetrating into the Uzbek part of the Ferghana Valley was difficult at best once President Karimov tightened the screws. The IMU’s initial contact with the Taliban and al Qaeda then proved valuable. The IMU received funding and training from their partners in Afghanistan, but in exchange they had to focus their military efforts on the battle in Afghanistan, instead of toppling the Uzbek government. When the move into Afghanistan proved disastrous during Operation Enduring Freedom, IMU fighters fled to Pakistan’s tribal areas in search of a new safe haven. In Waziristan, the IMU first allied itself with the Mehsud clan and the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), but when the Uzbeks fell out of favor with the local population and the Pakistani government upped the pressure on foreign fighters, the group moved north. There, it found a new partner in the Haqqani network, which meant a shift in focus away from Pakistani targets to Afghan and coalition targets in Afghanistan.

The IMU has made another significant shift in the last few years – the result of both opportunity and outside influence – by joining the international jihadist cause of al Qaeda. According to David Witter, the IMU is a “multi-faceted terrorist group with broader objectives and increased capability to fight coalition forces in Afghanistan and launch terrorist attacks in Europe.”[8] While the IMU remains a relatively small player in international terrorism, the group’s shift shows the intertwined relationship between local insurgencies, international terrorism, and the organizational aspects tying them together. International jihad offers the IMU many things, including a new base of recruitments and source of funding, more publicity, and a greater sense of purpose when faced with increasingly difficult odds locally and regionally.

The IMU’s movements over the last years could be interpreted as opportunistic. The group has relocated to where they could find the support and sanctuary that would enable them to continue the fight for a Central Asian caliphate. However, that requires that we accept the sincerity of their ideological rhetoric. There is another theory questioning the ideology of the IMU, which tries to explain why it operated in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, instead of Uzbekistan. The IMU has for years been involved with drug trafficking. Already in 2000, the IMU allegedly controlled the majority of the heroin entering Kyrgyzstan.[9] Svante E. Cornell has argued that there is a correlation between IMU operations and drug trafficking, indicating that the IMU’s operations are as much motivated by financial needs as Islamic ideology. Its camps and activities correspond in location with drug smuggling routes and in time with opium harvests. In the late 1990s, Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, became a major transit route for drug smuggling into Central Asia, and as opium cultivation skyrocketed, another route appeared through Tajikistan. These locations correspond with locations and activities of the IMU.[10] Given this evidence, one could argue that the IMU, at in terms of its operations in Central Asia, have been motivated by financial reasons and not religious ideology. Cornell’s observation might also give insight into IMU’s incursions into Russia, which has seen a booming heroin problem the last few years. In 2006, approximately 2,449 kilograms of heroin and morphine was seized in Russia, putting it sixth amongst the highest-ranking countries.[11] According to a Russian official, at least 80 people die from heroin every day in Russia, with Afghanistan being the main supplier of the drugs.[12] IMU’s incursion into Russia could have been part of a criminal enterprise, though more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn.

These two opposing views are not necessarily mutually exclusive, because the IMU does not appear to be a monolithic organization. The group has been described as “an amalgam of personal vendetta, Islamism, drugs, geopolitics, and terrorism”.[13] Their lack of attacks in Uzbekistan since 2005 could very well be a result of pragmatism. President Karimov’s hardline politics appear to have made the governments of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan more willing to clamp down on the IMU and other similar organizations, making it harder for the IMU to launch attacks from abroad into Uzbekistan. Similarly, the mass arrests of suspected Islamic extremists have made it more difficult to organize anti-governmental movements within the country. Under these circumstances, it would be difficult for the IMU to launch any attacks against the sitting regime. In this light, the incursion into Russia could be seen as another attempt to rebuild the organization, perhaps through drug trafficking.

Allies and benefactors

In addition to its relationship with the Taliban and al Qaeda, the IMU has developed ties with other groups and states. As noted earlier, Yuldashev received funds from various intelligence agencies during the late 1990s. In addition, the IMU appears to have informal ties with Hizb ut Tahrir al-Islami. It has been argued that the IMU does not have an ideological and theological framework that justifies their actions, so the group has instead relied on the comprehensive teachings of HT.[14] There is evidence of a sort of symbiosis between the two groups, even though the two advocate different means in order to reach the goal of a caliphate. The Russian FSB has on repeated occasions tried to tie the two groups together, and Tajikistan’s Deputy Interior Minister Abdurahim Kaharov claimed in 2006 that the two groups often share members.[15] HT literature has been found on dead IMU soldiers,[16] and several arrests made since 2005 indicate some sort of cooperation.[17] Whether or not the groups have actively cooperated in staging attacks, remains unclear. The Central Asian governments, and Russia, have a clear motive for vilifying HT, since the group is a threat to the secular regimes. The obvious attempt by President Karimov and his colleagues to suppress Islamic radicalism makes their claims suspect and should not necessarily be taken at face value.

Conclusion

Today, the IMU remains a potent force in parts of Central and South Asia, with an increasing focus on Europe. However, the group has only been marginally effective in the former Soviet republics for the past decade. This is partly the result of an international effort to combat terrorism. While President Karimov has cracked down hard in Uzbekistan, a long list of other countries have actively pursued, arrested and extradited suspected IMU members. Especially the efforts of the governments in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the former shelters of the IMU, have made it difficult for the group to maintain safe havens in Central Asia. The nature of the international cooperation is beyond the scope of this article and should be subject to further research. Especially the legal and ethical dimensions of the extraditions remain murky at best, and should be further explored.

But while the intense crackdown in Central Asia, along with international cooperation, seems to have damaged the IMU, there are other possible factors contributing to the decline, including the group’s own choices. The group’s leadership made several decisions prior to and after Operation Enduring Freedom that later proved to be disastrous. Perhaps the most important was the decision to solidify ties with the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As mentioned earlier, a large part of the IMU was destroyed in Operation Enduring Freedom, and most of those who survived scrambled over the border into the tribal areas of Pakistan. There, the IMU thought it had found a new safe haven, but under increasing international pressure, especially from the U.S., former President Pervez Musharraf decided to confront the growing problem of foreign fighters in Waziristan.

There was another consequence of getting in bed with the Taliban and al Qaeda. By adopting the rhetoric of international jihad and focusing its efforts outside of Uzbekistan, primarily Afghanistan pre-9/11, the IMU alienated the Uzbek people. According to Dr. Abdujabar Abduvakhitov, who has followed the group closely, the shift in ideology and rhetoric made the IMU repulsive to the Uzbek people.[18] Though it is difficult to gauge popular support for the IMU, especially considering the government’s repressive measures, the fact remains that the IMU has not perpetrated an attack of significance in its origin country since the Tashkent bombings in 1999. This might either indicate a lack of popular support, which it would need to operate within Uzbekistan, or it has decided that other countries are easier targets.

The fight against the IMU offers several lessons in combating terrorist organizations, though not every one should be followed. Increased international cooperation made it possible to clamp down on foreign bases and financiers, but the harshness of the crackdown, especially in Central Asia, could have potentially explosive consequences. President Karimov’s repressive regime could in the short-term pacify the country, but growing dissent amongst the population has the potential to be an even bigger threat than the IMU ever represented. Evidence of this can be found in HT’s increasing popularity in Central Asia.[19] The group’s admitted goal is the creation of a global caliphate. Though the organization, which is international in a far wider sense than the IMU, it professes to be nonviolent. Both the Uzbek government and scholars disagree with that claim.[20] Regardless of whether or not the HT is willing to use violence, President Karimov and his colleagues in Central Asia could now be sowing the seeds of an Islamic revolution by suppressing their population. Thus they will have traded one threat with limited popular support, the IMU, for a transnational political movement on the rise.

 


[1] See part three of our series on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan for a more detailed account of bases and operations.

[2] For more information on the German jihadists, see: Yassin Musharbash, “Al-Qaida Fighter from Bonn Believed Dead,” Der Spiegel (January 19, 2011), http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,740326,00.html (accessed March 22, 2011); Christoph Scheuermann and Andreas Ulrich, “The Fate of 11 Aspiring Jihadists from Germany,” Der Spiegel (October 18, 2010), http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,723640-2,00.html (accessed March 22, 2011); Holger Stark and Matthias Gebauer, “Hamburg-Based Islamists Targeted in US Drone Attack,” Der Spiegel (October 11, 2010), http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,722242,00.html (accessed March 22, 2011).

[3] Helen Pidd, “Frankfurt airport shooting may have Islamist link, say police,” Guardian (March 3, 2011), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/03/frankfurt-airport-shooting-islamist-link (accessed March 21, 2011).

[4] According to one report: “Taliban and the IMU have carried out attacks against NATO’s new supply corridor from Tajikistan through the northern provinces of Kunduz and Baghlan. The Taliban, with the help of the IMU, control several districts in Kunduz and Baghlan. As many as 80 al Qaeda-linked IMU fighters, including Uzbeks and Chechens, are operating in areas southwest of Kunduz City.” See: Bill Roggio, “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan confirms leader Tahir Yuldashev killed,” Long War Journal (August 16, 2010), http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/08/islamic_movement_of_1.php#ixzz1FkI9EKK9 (accessed March 29, 2011).

[5] Abubakar Siddique, “IMU Takes Root In Increasingly Insecure Northern Afghan Provinces,” EurasiaNet (December 8, 2010), http://www.eurasianet.org/node/62531 (accessed March 22, 2011).

[6] Coalition forces in Afghanistan dealt a significant blow to the IMU in March 2011 when it killed two senior commanders in Samangan province and captured another in Balkh province. See: Bill Roggio, “ISAF Kills, captures IMU leaders in Afghan north,” Long War Journal (March 11, 2011), http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/03/isaf_kills_captures_1.php (accessed March 23, 2011).

[7] Deirdre Tynan, “US Special Forces’ Operations in Central Asia Keeping Islamic Militants in Check,” EurasiaNet (March 15, 2011), http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63080 (accessed March 22, 2011).

[8] David Witter, “Uzbek Militancy in Pakistan’s Tribal Region,” Institute for the Study of War (January 27, 2011), p. 12.

[9] Svante E. Cornell, “Narcotics, Radicalism, and Armed Conflict in Central Asia: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,” Terrorism and Political Violence, vol. 17, no. 3 (2005): p. 631.

[10] Cornell, “Narcotics,” pp. 629-631.

[11] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2008 World Drug Report, p. 54.

[12] BBC WM, “More Russians die annually from heroin than in Afghan war – official,” (January 8, 2009).

[13] Zeyno Baran, S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, “Islamic Radicalism in Central Asia and the Caucasus: Implications for the EU” (July 2006), p. 49.

[14] Baran, “Islamic Radicalism,” p. 18.

[15] Russia CIS General Newswire, “10 terrorist attacks averted in Tajikistan in nine months,” (October 16, 2006).

[16] Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002): p. 133.

[17] The Tajik police have on several occasions arrested people accused of being members of both groups. Also, six of the people arrested for the Kyrgyzstan border incursion in 2006 were accused of belonging to both groups.

[18] C.J. Chivers, “Uzbek Militants’ Decline Provides Clues to U.S. (New York Times, October 8, 2002).

[19] Radio Free Europe, “Banned Islamic Group Hizb ut-Tahrir Continues To Gain Members,” (August 10, 2007).

[20] Baran, “Islamic Radicalism,” p. 20.