Foreign Fighters from Russia and Central Asia Part III

Russia and Central Asia 3

8: Central Asian IS fighters About. 4,000 Central Asian foreign fighters are in Syria. Many are part of IS, but most will be with the Nusra Front (now: Al Sham, which seems to distance itself somewhat from Al Qaeda ). A few Central Asians are also in Chechen groups. Although the tendency is to cut all the Central Asian countries into one comb, these countries deal with foreign fighters very…

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Foreign Fighters from Russia and Central Asia Part II

Russia and Central Asia 2

5: Radicalization of Chechen separatists Most Russian foreign fighters in Syria come from Chechnya and Dagestan in the North Caucasus. Rebels in Chechnya have been aiming for independence from Russia since 1991, much to the concern of the central government in Moscow. The first Chechen war (1994–1996) ended with the Russian authorities withdrawing troops and postponing the fate of the republics. Already during and after the first Chechen war, the…

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Foreign Fighters from Russia and Central Asia Part I

Russia and Central Asia 1

In January 2017, Turkish authorities arrested a man from Uzbekistan. He was a member of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) and is now suspected of having carried out the terrorist attack that killed 39 people at a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve . The suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport in 2016 came from the Russian republic of Dagestan and the Central Asian…

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