Analytical materials / Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan: CSTO and intelligence agencies should change the approach to the fight against terrorism

18.11.2015

“If radicalism and extremism have a political nature and derive their strength from the socio-economic and political problems in the country, it raises a question of expediency of the measures undertaken by the government to prevent radicalism. Don’t those measures act as unwitting catalysts for further growth of discontent and searing social injustice, and as a consequence, for the radicalization of society?”, asksZamira Isakova, an expert in security issues, Master of the OSCE Academy, in her article written for CABAR.asia.

Isakova imageThe growing influence of the ISIS in the countries of Central Asia has become one of the key issues on the agenda of the September meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Dushanbe.1 That, however, is not surprising, given the growing threat of international terrorism worldwide. The more that, according to the official statistics, the number of adherents of the ISIS lately has been replenished with people from Central Asia. The security of the region largely affects the security of Russia, which plays a key role in the CSTO. If radical adherents of the ISIS in the region get more successful, Central Asia will become a supplier of a threat to Russia.

The leaders of the states-members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization clearly identified the threat of terrorist and extremist organizations that feed the political, religious and social radicalism.2 Taking into consideration and understanding the consequences of the problem, the member-states of the Organization “continue to coordinate foreign policy positions, make joint statements…, build support for efforts to find mutually acceptable solutions to problems….”3 How big is the potential of the CSTO and the law enforcement agencies of the Member States of the Organization, particularly the Central Asian countries, in confronting today’s threats? The detailed analysis will help find an objective answer to these questions.

 Action = inaction?

The Collective Security Treaty Organization was created in 2002 on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty, signed in 1995. The CSTO member states are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Despite the noble goal “to strengthen peace and international and regional security and stability…”4, the CSTO is often perceived as an ineffective organization established only in opposition to NATO and having an unflattering epithet – “club of dictators”.

The Organization has earned this assessment due to a passive position during the acute need for providing assistance and the small number of actual results in ensuring security and conflict resolution. For example, in Kyrgyzstan, the CSTO is associated with inaction of the Organization in 2010, during the violent inter-ethnic clashes in the south. According to Valentin Bogatyrev, “a response to the desperate appeal the head of the provisional government… was the statement of the then President Medvedev … that the question of the intervention of the CSTO cannot be considered, as such reactions are not provided by the charter of the organization or by any agreements”5 However, the situation regarding the appeal of Kyrgyzstan is called ambiguous, taking into account the illegal seizure of power and the status of provisional government,6 so the assistance of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in such circumstances would mean supporting an illegitimate regime change.

The policy of non-interference of the CSTO was also used during the protests in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan, in December 2011, and during the conflict in the north of Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan in 2012. But it is fair to note that only Kyrgyzstan sent an official appeal for help to the CSTO in 2010, in other cases, the countries decided to resolve the unstable situations in their territories themselves.

When the organization is criticized, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha replies that the Collective Security Treaty Organization was created to respond to external threats, not internal.7 But the events in southern Kyrgyzstan taught the Organization certain lessons, in particular that the Collective Security Treaty Organization “should aid the leadership – the leadership de facto, not de jure, at that time”8 In spite of these arguments and help of the CSTO provided after the settlement of the tensions in the south of the Kyrgyz republic by its own forces in 2010, the Kyrgyz almost put the stigma of the organization’s incapability in ensuring security.

What keeps the CSTO…

However, as noted by David Lewis, lately, Russia has been seeking to fill an existing gap and to respond to modern challenges and threats through strengthening the capacity of the CSTO.9 In view of the Afghan problem, the CSTO enhances the potential of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF), which were created following the example of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force (CRDF, 2001). CRDF was initiated to counter the forces that threaten the countries of Central Asia and in response to the invasion of a group of religious extremists on the territory of Kyrgyzstan in 1999-2000. In the case of sudden attack of groups of armed extremists, potential of CRDF in the face of 4-thousand army will be used to confront them and to protect Central Asia.10

In 2009, it was decided to create the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF) of the CSTO. CRRF is a response of the CSTO to modern military threats and the only institution of the CSTO, which is designed to ensure the collective security of the member states. Its strengthening is the only possible activities of Member States to ensure security and counter threats. CRRF consists of 20,000 well-trained soldiers, ready to repel virtually all threats, except for inter-state conflicts. Each year, the CRRF participate in practical exercises, which, among other things, have a demonstrative character.

The CSTO member states have high hopes for the potential of the CRRF, which has become “an important factor of security in the CSTO zone of responsibility, including the containment of extremist and terrorist activities…”11 This year, the CRRF withstood the sudden test of strength and were transferred to the territory of Tajikistan during two and a half days.12 This was mentioned in the report Bordyuzha, which he declared at the September meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The report says about the operation “Channel” within which there was carried out the work to combat drug and weapon trafficking. In 2014, the Working group on the fight against terrorism and extremism (composed of members of the Defence Council and representatives of relevant agencies of CSTO member states),13 which should strengthen the coordination mechanism of the Organization. Joint activities under the code name “PROXY” contributed to information security. More than 50 thousand extremist sites have been detected and blocked since the beginning of 2015.14

So what’s the problem …

Despite all of the above achievements, the CSTO is assessed as a not very strong organization. There are two main reasons for the relative ineffectiveness of the organization:

First, geopolitical confrontation between world powers and their strategy of luring small players. As the editor of the political magazine “Center of Asia” Sultan Akimbekov notes, this policy of enticement and, as a consequence, the inconsistency of the Central Asian countries does not allow the Collective Security Treaty Organization acting quickly in the modern world.15

Secondly, the internal problems of the CSTO, which are based on the statutory relations, in particular, the ill-conceived mechanism for mandatory adoption of a consensus on providing assistance can significantly inhibit the timely response of the CSTO. In an interview, Nikolai Bordyuzha said about such difficulties in making operational decisions on the provision of assistance to Kyrgyzstan in 2010.16 According to some Russian analysts, there may have been an “overestimated assessment by some States in the region of their national sovereignty”17

Existing internal divisions did not allow the CSTO to demonstrate its capacity, when such an opportunity was provided. Thus, the missed opportunities to show the real power of the Organization, as a structure, which aims to ensure security, made a great contribution to the existing image of the organization.

The opportunity to increase the authority of the organization, both on the domestic and on the international arena, depends entirely on how the Organization behaves in an emergency, although it is unlikely that the CSTO will assist, if extremist groups will be formed from the citizens of the Organization itself. According to Alexei Nikiforov, CSTO adviser, “if some groups, composed mainly of former citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan who fled to Afghanistan or Pakistan, break into these countries, it is unlikely that the CSTO will send military help to those countries”18 In case of successful performance, the organization could improve its image and establish itself on the world stage as a real preventive and reactive mechanism to counter any threats. However, the Organization needs to reconsider its concept of “non-assistance until being officially asked it” and make appropriate adjustments to the existing basic documents of the CSTO.

Summarizing, we can conclude that the CSTO has a certain potential for rapid response to modern challenges, including terrorism and extremism. And the common strategic goal of all the CSTO member states is the main strength of the Organization. However, as noted by CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha, the Organization should “pay special attention to improving the developed mechanisms … of collective security”.19

What’s at the local level?

A recent publication of the Eurasian Council of Foreign Affairs, it is written about the growing role of Central Asia in the fight against terrorism and emphasized that the countries in the region should increase their capacity in combating armed extremism and radicalism. 20

The destruction of the terrorists in Atyrau in 2011, a special operation of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) in Kyrgyzstan this summer, prevention of “terrorist attacks” by neutralization of the rebellious general Abduhalim Nazarzoda by special services of Tajikistan, the prosecution of fugitive criminals in Kyrgyzstan who were reportedly associated with banned religious movements, two recent “small act of terrorism” in Tashkent21 indicate not only a surge of activity of the so-called terrorists, but also show the seriousness of the intentions of the leaders of the Central Asian states in the fight against them.

The sincerity of these intentions, however, is subject to great doubt on the part of the expert community, which is concerned about the haste labeling “terrorists and radicals” without sufficient evidence. In academic circles, there is a question whether the threat of radicalism, armed extremism and terrorism in Central Asia is real. Currently, most analysts are inclined to believe that the problem as such is too much exaggerated, and it is done deliberately.According to Erica Marat, people in power often use the horror stories of “Islamic extremism” in order to suppress the opposition.22 The Diplomat in article “Central Asia and the phantom of ISIS” also argues that the threat is exaggerated and used to justify harsh measures against the those who think differently.23 The authors of the report of the Polish Institute of International Affairs are also sure in the absence of interest of the ISIS in the region. The report’s authors believe that the leaders of the five countries will try to use the phenomenon for personal gain, such as increasing the capacity of the security services and the receipt of funds for the strengthening of border posts. The main source of these benefits is likely to be Russia, and this is due to the fact that the majority of emigrants from Central Asia who take part in military operations in Syria have been recruited in Russia.24 John Heathershow and David Montgomery also believe in the “mythical” origin of religious extremism, and its rather political influence.25

The destruction of General Nazarzoda and his associates in Tajikistan is given as an example of the use of term radicalism for political purposes by the authorities of the republic.26 According to Arkady Dubnov in an interview for TheDiplomat, Tajik authorities want to show that the country is a kind of outpost in the fight against ISIS and bears considerable damage because of the terrorists. Tajik leadership is trying to use the exaggerated threat of ISIS in such a non-trivial way as an excuse/ explanation of its actions to the international community.27

Mankurtization and the response by state security services

The leaders of the Central Asian republics unanimously claim that radicalism exists and the people of these countries are victims of manipulation and influence of extremist groups. So, Almazbek Atambayev said that “behind the general Islamization, there is the idea of turning the Kyrgyz to mankurts”28 Thus, the head of the republic warns people that the Islamization of the population is used by some actors to deprive the population of its roots. After analyzing the public statements of the leaders of the countries, we can conclude that in their speeches, heads of the republics don’t distinguish between Islamization, radicalization, extremism and terrorism, often using them as synonyms.

As a result, law enforcement bodies of the republic have begun large-scale witch-hunt, prohibiting from wearing religious attributes, praying and wearing beards. Such methods have been used in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The case of a 23-year-old student Umar Bobojonov in Vahdat (Tajikistan) was widely publicized. He was detained for wearing a beard. According to the Tajik news services, he was severely beaten and died.29 Thus, the criminalization and outlawing everything “non-traditional” have become the main tactic to counter radicalism. Anyway, any act is governed by the laws of the republic. So it makes sense to get acquainted with the mechanisms of solving the problem, established in laws of the three CSTO member states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Kazakhstan is guided by the law “On Countering Extremism”, adopted in 2005, which highlighted the interaction of all actors as the most important instrument in the fight against extremism. This emphasis is seen in the “State program on combating religious extremism and terrorism in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2013-2017”, too. Relatively speaking, the cooperation of public services with foreign and international organizations is a recipe for prevention in Kazakhstan. Kazakh special services passed the test for readiness to resist the destructive forces back in 2011 (the activity of terrorist groups in Atyrau). Many were found the measures taken by law enforcement authorities effective. According to Lieutenant Colonel, lead investigator of the 10th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Interior (MIF) of Kyrgyzstan Ratbek Turusbekov, the actions of Kazakh law enforcement agencies led to a large outflow of extremist groups from the country30 In 2014, Nazarbayev signed a new Criminal Code, according to which the responsibility for the manifestation of extremism, terrorism and the spread of radical ideas has been tightened. 31

Extremism in Kyrgyzstan is recognized as one of the main threats to security. In this connection, there have been adopted a number of laws, including the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On countering extremist activities” of 2005. According to this law, the fight against extremism is the prerogative of the government agencies, but the relevant departments can fight extremism jointly with religious organizations, public associations and others. Countering extremism is also highlighted in the “Concept of National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic”, adopted in 2012. In the article “Islam in Kyrgyzstan: increase in diversity”, Franco Galdini writes about the problematic wording of the threat in the Concept. According to the author, the document identifies the Islamization as radicalization that can be considered a kind of provocation.32 Unclear definition of the problem poses unclear objectives for intelligence agencies of the republic in the fight against radicalism, thus they persecute all “informal” followers who preach “non-traditional Islam”33In order to stop the spread of “non-traditional Islam” and its negative impact, there was made a Decision of the Council of Defense of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the state policy in the sphere of religion” in 2014. The decision is more advisory in nature for all stakeholders, including religious organizations.

Tajikistan has long been considered an example of peaceful coexistence between the secular power and political Islam. But on August 28 this year, the authorities decided to ban the activities of the Islamic Revival Party.

The announcement was made in conjunction with other prohibiting statements: now it is forbidden to wear Islamic clothes and grow beards. In Tajikistan, the law enforcement authorities act in accordance with the Law “On combating extremism” of 2009, and in accordance with the “United Concept for combating extremism, terrorism”, adopted in 2006. In 2014, Tajikistan amended the Criminal Code, according to which persons participating in military operations in other countries may be sentenced to a term of 12 to 20 years.35 The authors of the report of the International Crisis Group suggest that these measures are taken in order to prevent the return of insurgents.36
 
Law enforcement bodies of Kyrgyzstan
 
At the highest level, the work for the prevention of extremism and radicalism is done by the Defense Council of the Offices of the President and the Government. A coordinating role between all the actors belongs to the National Security Committee, which is developing the conceptual provisions, makes the main proposals of improving the legislation and analyzes the threat of terrorism and extremism. The Ministry of Interior plays an active role in the prevention, in particular the 10th Chief Department of the Ministry. Also important powers to prevent extremism and terrorism belong to the Office of General Prosecutor.
 
In addition to the law enforcement agencies, other organizations are involved in the prevention of radicalism, for example, the State Commission on Religious Affairs, which plays an active role in the development and implementation of measures for the prevention of religious radicalism. In particular, the Commission’s experts provide expert evaluation of the materials, which contain signs of extremism.
 
At first glance, all the preventive and responsive mechanisms are available and seem to be effective. According to Ratbek Turusbekov, police lieutenant colonel, in 2012, the National Security Committee managed to prevent a series of terrorist acts and prohibit the activities of a number of terrorist organizations (Zhayshul Mahdi, Ansarulloh, etc.).37 However, the methods of combating radicalism are often reduced to the persecution of religious people. A resident of a village in Jalal-Abad region said that a religious man, a constant parishioner of the mosque and faithful follower of all the canons of Islam is at risk of becoming the object of attention of law enforcement officials, which is a big risk under the circumstances of permissiveness.38
 
The erroneous tactics of widespread suspicion and prosecution of religious people has been noted not only by experts, but also by ordinary citizens. As noted by a member of the SPC (Social and Preventive center) of the city of Kyzyl-Kiya (Batken oblast), social portraits of 60 people who left the city to take part in military operations in Syria vary considerably. They have different social status, degree of religiosity, age, scope, level of education and wealth. According to their relatives, they also had different motives: some young people are tempted by high payment, some people – by idea, some are simply succumbed to total “fashion trend”, and the others travel for religious reasons.39
 
As Marat Abdyldaev, Colonel and senior teacher at the training institute of the National Security Committee of Kyrgyzstan, rightly pointed out, the growing popularity of radical ideas is the response of society to the unsolved internal social, economic and political problems. According to Abdyldaev, “the negative potential is gradually accumulated… into the fundamentalist religious and political doctrines”40
 
If radicalism and extremism have a political nature and derive their strength from the socio-economic and political problems in the country, it raises a question of expediency of the measures undertaken by the government to prevent radicalism. Don’t those measures act as unwitting catalysts for further growth of discontent and searing social injustice, and as a consequence, for the radicalization of society? Especially if taking into account the fact, as noted by lieutenant colonel Ratbek Turusbekov, that often tough measures have the opposite effect and give rise to resistance.40
 
Conclusion
 
Speaking about the potential of law enforcement bodies and measures to counter the destructive phenomena, we can conclude that this potential is low. This is due primarily to the lack of trained personnel, because law enforcement officials recognize themselves that today, the security services do not have the skills to prevent and combat radicalism.42 The struggle is reduced to the seizure of suspicious materials, whose real danger is a separate question, and harassment of religious leaders.43The requirements of quantitative indicators of crime detection could also serve as a reason for their poor effectiveness. In pursuit of an increase in crime detection indicators, some law enforcement officials are ready to accuse any “suspicious” person, which causes an even greater mistrust in law enforcement bodies. In addition, as noted by Colonel Abdyldaev, the low efficiency of radicalism prevention is due to the lack of agreement between the concerned authorities in the issue of the religious extremism prevention.44 Emil Zheenbekov, Colonel Chief of the Anti-Extremism and Terrorism Prevention of the 10th Chief Department of the Ministry for Internal Affairs, says similar things. He notes that it is necessary to build trust and mutually beneficial relations with all the actors, including religious organizations.45 Presumably, these are the reasons for the lack of law enforcement capacities in other Central Asian countries.
 
In this regard, besides the obvious need for training of law enforcement employees, it is necessary to reconsider the approach to combat radicalization, focusing more on the prevention of such events, rather than a reaction to them. Moreover, the success of any activities carried out by law enforcement authorities depends on the degree of respect and public confidence in the police and other security services. Therefore, it makes sense to use the approach of public safety, which is based on building trust between the government and the population. This approach is now used in Denmark, and it is aimed at the rehabilitation of militants who returned to their motherland.46 In Central Asia, this approach will be useful in the prevention of radicalism, it can be built on traditional institutions and traditions (the authority of the elders – aksakals). The elders and other community leaders could become an indispensable tool in the prevention of any destructive effects, which is especially important in view of limited resources of the Central Asian countries. These “assistants” could assume the priority objective in the prevention of radicalism – to increase public awareness, playing the role of “de-recruiters.”
 
At the highest level, it is necessary to stop the constant attempts to make the concepts of the Islamization and radicalization equal and to give a clearer definition of the real threat. Then, the representatives of the law enforcement agencies would see a clear task. In this case, instead of restrictions on rights and freedoms, the security services could practice a more loyal and effective method of interaction with the public, rather than intimidation. In addition, in view of the ongoing de-secularization of society, the leaders of the countries could use the Islamic values to stabilize society and develop public-Islamic relations for the benefit of the population, according to the principle “with Islam forward, rather than with Islam backward”. After all, in fact, what is happening today is a struggle for the hearts and minds of people. The success of regional cooperation on the basis of the CSTO depends on this high level. This organization is the only platform of cooperation in the security sphere. Despite the fact that the CSTO has yet not proved to be a complete defense mechanism, the countries in the region have no other alternative. Therefore, the leaders of Central Asian countries need to unite on the basis of this Organization.
 
Zamira Isakova, a security expert, Master, the OSCE Academy.
 
The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of Cabar.asia
 


1 On the results of the meeting of the Collective Security Council session in Dushanbe on September 15, 2015 http://www.odkb-csto.org/authorized_organs/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5420&SECTION_ID=160  (accessed: October 18, 2015)

2 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (accessed: October 18, 2015)

3 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (accessed: October 18, 2015)

4 The CSTO Charter http://www.odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=124 (accessed October 27, 2015)

5  Valentin Bogatyrev, Lesser of all evils: Why Kyrgyzstan sees no alternatives to the CSTO, 23.12.2012 http://www.globalaffairs.ru/number/Menshee-iz-vsekh-zol-15796  (available: October 17 visit 2015)

6 Nikitina Yulia, Security Cooperation in the Post-Soviet Area within the Collective Security Treaty Organization, ISPI Analysis No. 152, January 2013, p 4

7 Nikitina Yulia, Security Cooperation in the Post-Soviet Area within the Collective Security Treaty Organization, ISPI Analysis No. 152, January 2013, p 4

8 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (available: October 18, 2015)

9  Lewis David, What are Russia’s grand designs in Central Asia? October 14.2015 < https://theconversation.com/what-are-russias-grand-designs-in-central-asia-49034> (accessed 1 November  2015)

10 Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region are 5 years old http://www.dkb.gov.ru/g/l.htm  (2 November 2015)

11 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (available: October 18, 2015)

12 Nikolai Bordyuzha in an interview with ITRC “Mir”: CSTO has taken into account the threat from the Taliban in its security system, 05/10/2015

http://www.odkb-csto.org/presscenter/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5528  (accessed 26 October 2015)

13  The Working Group on counter-terrorism issues under the CSSC CSTO considered the problem of countering international terrorism and extremism in the CSTO zones of responsibility, 9.10.2014 http://www.odkb-csto.org/news/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=4066&SECTION_ID = 91 (accessed October 23, 2015)

14 The written contribution by the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty (21 th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council)

15 Klevakina Elena, Collective Security Treaty Organization in the context of national interests of member states, International organizations Bulletin 2013, No. 2 (41), page 119

16 “Uzbekistan will not solve the issues of national security without the CSTO” – Interview with Secretary General of CSTO newspaper “Moscow News” and RIA “News”, 21 November 2012. http://odkb-csto.org/general_secretary/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=1517  (accessed October 27, 2015)

17 Klevakina Elena, Collective Security Treaty Organization in the context of national interests of member states, International organizations Bulletin 2013, No. 2 (41), page 113

18 Nikiforov Alexei, CSTO: its role, potential and possible measures in case of negative development of the situation in Afghanistan after 2014, Security Challenges in Central Asia, IMEMO, 136-139, page 137

19 Tatiana Kudryavtseva, Fight against extremism: the recipe of the CSTO, 17.09.2015 http://www.24kg.org/sng/19357_borba_s_ekstremizmom_retsept_odkb/  (accessed 20 October 2015)

20 Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs, p.14, October 2015

21 The Uzbek authorities have recognized: two terrorist attacks happened in Tashkent, 30.10.2015 http://inozpress.kg/news/view/id/47332  (accessed October 27, 2015)

22 Abdurasulov Abdujalil, CIS summit: Russia to bolster Central Asia military, 16.10.2015 <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34538051>

23 Orozobekova Cholpon, Central Asia and the ISIS Phantom, 2.10.2015 <http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/central-asia-and-the-isis-phantom/> (accessed 23 October)

24  Anna Dyner, Legiec Arkadiusz, Rekawek Kacper, Ready to go? ISIS and Its Presumed Expansion into Central Asia, PISM, Policy Paper # 19 (121) June 2015

25 John Heathershaw and David W. Montgomery “The Myth of Post-Soviet Radicalisation in the Central Asian Republics,” November 2014 Ghatham House

26  Orozobekova Cholpon, Trouble in Tajikistan, 15.10.2015 <http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/trouble-in-tajikistan/>  (accessed October 23, 2015)

27 Orozobekova Cholpon, Trouble in Tajikistan, 15.10.2015 <http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/trouble-in-tajikistan/>  (accessed October 23, 2015)

28 Tatiana Kudryavtseva, Atambaev: Behind general Islamization, there is the idea of turning the Kyrgyz to mankurts, 03.11.2014, http://www.24kg.org/obschestvo/883_almazbek_atambaev_za_shirokoy_islamizatsiey_stoit_ideya_prevratit_kyirgyizov_v_mankurtov/   (accessed 26 October 2015)

29  In Tajikistan, the police beat a guy, because he wore a beard, 08/31/2015 < http://catoday.org/centrasia/21619-v-tadzhikistane-sotrudniki-milicii-izbili-parnya-za-to-chto-on-nosil-borodu.html> (accessed 26 October 2015)

30  Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

31  Nazarbayev signed the Criminal Code, 3.07.2014 <http://tengrinews.kz/kazakhstan_news/nazarbaev-podpisal-ugolovnyiy-kodeks-258096/>

32  Galdini Franco Islam in Kyrgyzstan: increasing diversity, 22.10.2015 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia-1> (accessed October 29, 2015)

33  The term is also per se is quite controversial and sensitive

34 Tajikistan fears instability as Afghan conflict rages on, 31.10.2015 <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34659530>  (accessed 31 October 2015)

35  Tajikistan has determined a punishment for taking part in “jihad” 6.08.2014, <http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1407301260> (1 November 2015)

36  Syria Calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia, International Crisis Group Policy Briefing, 20 January 2015,  p 11

37 Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

38  Interview with a resident of Suzak district, Jalal-Abad region, October 26, 2015

39 Interview with members of the Public preventive center of Kyzyl-Kiya, October 23, 2015

40  Abdyldaev Marat, Strategies to combat violent extremism in the Kyrgyz Republic, Capacity-building for the prevention of violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (117-133) page 118

40 Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

42 Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

43 Galdini Franco. Islam in Kyrgyzstan: increasing diversity, 22.10.2015 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia-1> (accessed October 29, 2015)

44   Abdyldaev Marat, Strategies to combat violent extremism in the Kyrgyz Republic, Capacity-building for the prevention of violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (117-133) page 129

45 Emil Zheenbekov, Problems of interaction of law enforcement bodies and religious organizations to counter religious extremism: state and public security, strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (99-117) page 105

46 Syria Calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia, International Crisis Group Policy Briefing, 20 January 2015,  p 10

Kyrgyzstan: CSTO and intelligence agencies should change the approach to the fight against terrorism

 

“If radicalism and extremism have a political nature and derive their strength from the socio-economic and political problems in the country, it raises a question of expediency of the measures undertaken by the government to prevent radicalism. Don’t those measures act as unwitting catalysts for further growth of discontent and searing social injustice, and as a consequence, for the radicalization of society?”, asks Zamira Isakova, an expert in security issues, Master of the OSCE Academy, in her article written for CABAR.asia.

 

 The growing influence of the ISIS in the countries of Central Asia has become one of the key issues on the agenda of the September meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Dushanbe.1 That, however, is not surprising, given the growing threat of international terrorism worldwide. The more that, according to the official statistics, the number of adherents of the ISIS lately has been replenished with people from Central Asia. The security of the region largely affects the security of Russia, which plays a key role in the CSTO. If radical adherents of the ISIS in the region get more successful, Central Asia will become a supplier of a threat to Russia.

 

The leaders of the states-members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization clearly identified the threat of terrorist and extremist organizations that feed the political, religious and social radicalism.2 Taking into consideration and understanding the consequences of the problem, the member-states of the Organization “continue to coordinate foreign policy positions, make joint statements…, build support for efforts to find mutually acceptable solutions to problems….”3 How big is the potential of the CSTO and the law enforcement agencies of the Member States of the Organization, particularly the Central Asian countries, in confronting today’s threats? The detailed analysis will help find an objective answer to these questions.

 

Action = inaction?

 

The Collective Security Treaty Organization was created in 2002 on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty, signed in 1995. The CSTO member states are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Despite the noble goal “to strengthen peace and international and regional security and stability…”4, the CSTO is often perceived as an ineffective organization established only in opposition to NATO and having an unflattering epithet – “club of dictators”.

 

The Organization has earned this assessment due to a passive position during the acute need for providing assistance and the small number of actual results in ensuring security and conflict resolution. For example, in Kyrgyzstan, the CSTO is associated with inaction of the Organization in 2010, during the violent inter-ethnic clashes in the south. According to Valentin Bogatyrev, “a response to the desperate appeal the head of the provisional government… was the statement of the then President Medvedev … that the question of the intervention of the CSTO cannot be considered, as such reactions are not provided by the charter of the organization or by any agreements”5 However, the situation regarding the appeal of Kyrgyzstan is called ambiguous, taking into account the illegal seizure of power and the status of provisional government,6 so the assistance of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in such circumstances would mean supporting an illegitimate regime change.

 

The policy of non-interference of the CSTO was also used during the protests in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan, in December 2011, and during the conflict in the north of Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan in 2012. But it is fair to note that only Kyrgyzstan sent an official appeal for help to the CSTO in 2010, in other cases, the countries decided to resolve the unstable situations in their territories themselves.

 

When the organization is criticized, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha replies that the Collective Security Treaty Organization was created to respond to external threats, not internal.7 But the events in southern Kyrgyzstan taught the Organization certain lessons, in particular that the Collective Security Treaty Organization “should aid the leadership – the leadership de facto, not de jure, at that time”8 In spite of these arguments and help of the CSTO provided after the settlement of the tensions in the south of the Kyrgyz republic by its own forces in 2010, the Kyrgyz almost put the stigma of the organization’s incapability in ensuring security.

 

What keeps the CSTO…

 

However, as noted by David Lewis, lately, Russia has been seeking to fill an existing gap and to respond to modern challenges and threats through strengthening the capacity of the CSTO.9 In view of the Afghan problem, the CSTO enhances the potential of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF), which were created following the example of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force (CRDF, 2001). CRDF was initiated to counter the forces that threaten the countries of Central Asia and in response to the invasion of a group of religious extremists on the territory of Kyrgyzstan in 1999-2000. In the case of sudden attack of groups of armed extremists, potential of CRDF in the face of 4-thousand army will be used to confront them and to protect Central Asia.10

 

In 2009, it was decided to create the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF) of the CSTO. CRRF is a response of the CSTO to modern military threats and the only institution of the CSTO, which is designed to ensure the collective security of the member states. Its strengthening is the only possible activities of Member States to ensure security and counter threats. CRRF consists of 20,000 well-trained soldiers, ready to repel virtually all threats, except for inter-state conflicts. Each year, the CRRF participate in practical exercises, which, among other things, have a demonstrative character.

 

The CSTO member states have high hopes for the potential of the CRRF, which has become “an important factor of security in the CSTO zone of responsibility, including the containment of extremist and terrorist activities…”11 This year, the CRRF withstood the sudden test of strength and were transferred to the territory of Tajikistan during two and a half days.12 This was mentioned in the report Bordyuzha, which he declared at the September meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The report says about the operation “Channel” within which there was carried out the work to combat drug and weapon trafficking. In 2014, the Working group on the fight against terrorism and extremism (composed of members of the Defence Council and representatives of relevant agencies of CSTO member states),13 which should strengthen the coordination mechanism of the Organization. Joint activities under the code name “PROXY” contributed to information security. More than 50 thousand extremist sites have been detected and blocked since the beginning of 2015.14

 

So what’s the problem …

 

Despite all of the above achievements, the CSTO is assessed as a not very strong organization. There are two main reasons for the relative ineffectiveness of the organization:

 

First, geopolitical confrontation between world powers and their strategy of luring small players. As the editor of the political magazine “Center of Asia” Sultan Akimbekov notes, this policy of enticement and, as a consequence, the inconsistency of the Central Asian countries does not allow the Collective Security Treaty Organization acting quickly in the modern world.15

 

Secondly, the internal problems of the CSTO, which are based on the statutory relations, in particular, the ill-conceived mechanism for mandatory adoption of a consensus on providing assistance can significantly inhibit the timely response of the CSTO. In an interview, Nikolai Bordyuzha said about such difficulties in making operational decisions on the provision of assistance to Kyrgyzstan in 2010.16 According to some Russian analysts, there may have been an “overestimated assessment by some States in the region of their national sovereignty”17

 

Existing internal divisions did not allow the CSTO to demonstrate its capacity, when such an opportunity was provided. Thus, the missed opportunities to show the real power of the Organization, as a structure, which aims to ensure security, made a great contribution to the existing image of the organization.

 

The opportunity to increase the authority of the organization, both on the domestic and on the international arena, depends entirely on how the Organization behaves in an emergency, although it is unlikely that the CSTO will assist, if extremist groups will be formed from the citizens of the Organization itself. According to Alexei Nikiforov, CSTO adviser, “if some groups, composed mainly of former citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan who fled to Afghanistan or Pakistan, break into these countries, it is unlikely that the CSTO will send military help to those countries”18 In case of successful performance, the organization could improve its image and establish itself on the world stage as a real preventive and reactive mechanism to counter any threats. However, the Organization needs to reconsider its concept of “non-assistance until being officially asked it” and make appropriate adjustments to the existing basic documents of the CSTO.

 

Summarizing, we can conclude that the CSTO has a certain potential for rapid response to modern challenges, including terrorism and extremism. And the common strategic goal of all the CSTO member states is the main strength of the Organization. However, as noted by CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha, the Organization should “pay special attention to improving the developed mechanisms … of collective security”.19

 

What’s at the local level?

 

A recent publication of the Eurasian Council of Foreign Affairs, it is written about the growing role of Central Asia in the fight against terrorism and emphasized that the countries in the region should increase their capacity in combating armed extremism and radicalism. 20

 

The destruction of the terrorists in Atyrau in 2011, a special operation of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) in Kyrgyzstan this summer, prevention of “terrorist attacks” by neutralization of the rebellious general Abduhalim Nazarzoda by special services of Tajikistan, the prosecution of fugitive criminals in Kyrgyzstan who were reportedly associated with banned religious movements, two recent “small act of terrorism” in Tashkent21 indicate not only a surge of activity of the so-called terrorists, but also show the seriousness of the intentions of the leaders of the Central Asian states in the fight against them.

 

The sincerity of these intentions, however, is subject to great doubt on the part of the expert community, which is concerned about the haste labeling “terrorists and radicals” without sufficient evidence. In academic circles, there is a question whether the threat of radicalism, armed extremism and terrorism in Central Asia is real. Currently, most analysts are inclined to believe that the problem as such is too much exaggerated, and it is done deliberately.

 

According to Erica Marat, people in power often use the horror stories of “Islamic extremism” in order to suppress the opposition.22 The Diplomat in article “Central Asia and the phantom of ISIS” also argues that the threat is exaggerated and used to justify harsh measures against the those who think differently.23 The authors of the report of the Polish Institute of International Affairs are also sure in the absence of interest of the ISIS in the region. The report’s authors believe that the leaders of the five countries will try to use the phenomenon for personal gain, such as increasing the capacity of the security services and the receipt of funds for the strengthening of border posts. The main source of these benefits is likely to be Russia, and this is due to the fact that the majority of emigrants from Central Asia who take part in military operations in Syria have been recruited in Russia.24 John Heathershow and David Montgomery also believe in the “mythical” origin of religious extremism, and its rather political influence.25

 

The destruction of General Nazarzoda and his associates in Tajikistan is given as an example of the use of term radicalism for political purposes by the authorities of the republic.26 According to Arkady Dubnov in an interview for TheDiplomat, Tajik authorities want to show that the country is a kind of outpost in the fight against ISIS and bears considerable damage because of the terrorists. Tajik leadership is trying to use the exaggerated threat of ISIS in such a non-trivial way as an excuse/ explanation of its actions to the international community.27

 

Mankurtization and the response by state security services

 

The leaders of the Central Asian republics unanimously claim that radicalism exists and the people of these countries are victims of manipulation and influence of extremist groups. So, Almazbek Atambayev said that “behind the general Islamization, there is the idea of turning the Kyrgyz to mankurts”28 Thus, the head of the republic warns people that the Islamization of the population is used by some actors to deprive the population of its roots. After analyzing the public statements of the leaders of the countries, we can conclude that in their speeches, heads of the republics don’t distinguish between Islamization, radicalization, extremism and terrorism, often using them as synonyms.

 

As a result, law enforcement bodies of the republic have begun large-scale witch-hunt, prohibiting from wearing religious attributes, praying and wearing beards. Such methods have been used in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The case of a 23-year-old student Umar Bobojonov in Vahdat (Tajikistan) was widely publicized. He was detained for wearing a beard. According to the Tajik news services, he was severely beaten and died.29 Thus, the criminalization and outlawing everything “non-traditional” have become the main tactic to counter radicalism. Anyway, any act is governed by the laws of the republic. So it makes sense to get acquainted with the mechanisms of solving the problem, established in laws of the three CSTO member states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

 

Kazakhstan is guided by the law “On Countering Extremism”, adopted in 2005, which highlighted the interaction of all actors as the most important instrument in the fight against extremism. This emphasis is seen in the “State program on combating religious extremism and terrorism in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2013-2017”, too. Relatively speaking, the cooperation of public services with foreign and international organizations is a recipe for prevention in Kazakhstan. Kazakh special services passed the test for readiness to resist the destructive forces back in 2011 (the activity of terrorist groups in Atyrau). Many were found the measures taken by law enforcement authorities effective. According to Lieutenant Colonel, lead investigator of the 10th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Interior (MIF) of Kyrgyzstan Ratbek Turusbekov, the actions of Kazakh law enforcement agencies led to a large outflow of extremist groups from the country30 In 2014, Nazarbayev signed a new Criminal Code, according to which the responsibility for the manifestation of extremism, terrorism and the spread of radical ideas has been tightened. 31

 

Extremism in Kyrgyzstan is recognized as one of the main threats to security. In this connection, there have been adopted a number of laws, including the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On countering extremist activities” of 2005. According to this law, the fight against extremism is the prerogative of the government agencies, but the relevant departments can fight extremism jointly with religious organizations, public associations and others. Countering extremism is also highlighted in the “Concept of National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic”, adopted in 2012. In the article “Islam in Kyrgyzstan: increase in diversity”, Franco Galdini writes about the problematic wording of the threat in the Concept. According to the author, the document identifies the Islamization as radicalization that can be considered a kind of provocation.32 Unclear definition of the problem poses unclear objectives for intelligence agencies of the republic in the fight against radicalism, thus they persecute all “informal” followers who preach “non-traditional Islam”33In order to stop the spread of “non-traditional Islam” and its negative impact, there was made a Decision of the Council of Defense of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the state policy in the sphere of religion” in 2014. The decision is more advisory in nature for all stakeholders, including religious organizations.

 

Tajikistan has long been considered an example of peaceful coexistence between the secular power and political Islam. But on August 28 this year, the authorities decided to ban the activities of the Islamic Revival Party.


34


The announcement was made in conjunction with other prohibiting statements: now it is forbidden to wear Islamic clothes and grow beards. In Tajikistan, the law enforcement authorities act in accordance with the Law “On combating extremism” of 2009, and in accordance with the “United Concept for combating extremism, terrorism”, adopted in 2006. In 2014, Tajikistan amended the Criminal Code, according to which persons participating in military operations in other countries may be sentenced to a term of 12 to 20 years.35 The authors of the report of the International Crisis Group suggest that these measures are taken in order to prevent the return of insurgents.36
 
Law enforcement bodies of Kyrgyzstan
 
At the highest level, the work for the prevention of extremism and radicalism is done by the Defense Council of the Offices of the President and the Government. A coordinating role between all the actors belongs to the National Security Committee, which is developing the conceptual provisions, makes the main proposals of improving the legislation and analyzes the threat of terrorism and extremism. The Ministry of Interior plays an active role in the prevention, in particular the 10th Chief Department of the Ministry. Also important powers to prevent extremism and terrorism belong to the Office of General Prosecutor.
 
In addition to the law enforcement agencies, other organizations are involved in the prevention of radicalism, for example, the State Commission on Religious Affairs, which plays an active role in the development and implementation of measures for the prevention of religious radicalism. In particular, the Commission’s experts provide expert evaluation of the materials, which contain signs of extremism.
 
At first glance, all the preventive and responsive mechanisms are available and seem to be effective. According to Ratbek Turusbekov, police lieutenant colonel, in 2012, the National Security Committee managed to prevent a series of terrorist acts and prohibit the activities of a number of terrorist organizations (Zhayshul Mahdi, Ansarulloh, etc.).37 However, the methods of combating radicalism are often reduced to the persecution of religious people. A resident of a village in Jalal-Abad region said that a religious man, a constant parishioner of the mosque and faithful follower of all the canons of Islam is at risk of becoming the object of attention of law enforcement officials, which is a big risk under the circumstances of permissiveness.38
 
The erroneous tactics of widespread suspicion and prosecution of religious people has been noted not only by experts, but also by ordinary citizens. As noted by a member of the SPC (Social and Preventive center) of the city of Kyzyl-Kiya (Batken oblast), social portraits of 60 people who left the city to take part in military operations in Syria vary considerably. They have different social status, degree of religiosity, age, scope, level of education and wealth. According to their relatives, they also had different motives: some young people are tempted by high payment, some people – by idea, some are simply succumbed to total “fashion trend”, and the others travel for religious reasons.39
 
As Marat Abdyldaev, Colonel and senior teacher at the training institute of the National Security Committee of Kyrgyzstan, rightly pointed out, the growing popularity of radical ideas is the response of society to the unsolved internal social, economic and political problems. According to Abdyldaev, “the negative potential is gradually accumulated… into the fundamentalist religious and political doctrines”40
 
If radicalism and extremism have a political nature and derive their strength from the socio-economic and political problems in the country, it raises a question of expediency of the measures undertaken by the government to prevent radicalism. Don’t those measures act as unwitting catalysts for further growth of discontent and searing social injustice, and as a consequence, for the radicalization of society? Especially if taking into account the fact, as noted by lieutenant colonel Ratbek Turusbekov, that often tough measures have the opposite effect and give rise to resistance.40
 
Conclusion
 
Speaking about the potential of law enforcement bodies and measures to counter the destructive phenomena, we can conclude that this potential is low. This is due primarily to the lack of trained personnel, because law enforcement officials recognize themselves that today, the security services do not have the skills to prevent and combat radicalism.42 The struggle is reduced to the seizure of suspicious materials, whose real danger is a separate question, and harassment of religious leaders.43The requirements of quantitative indicators of crime detection could also serve as a reason for their poor effectiveness. In pursuit of an increase in crime detection indicators, some law enforcement officials are ready to accuse any “suspicious” person, which causes an even greater mistrust in law enforcement bodies. In addition, as noted by Colonel Abdyldaev, the low efficiency of radicalism prevention is due to the lack of agreement between the concerned authorities in the issue of the religious extremism prevention.44 Emil Zheenbekov, Colonel Chief of the Anti-Extremism and Terrorism Prevention of the 10th Chief Department of the Ministry for Internal Affairs, says similar things. He notes that it is necessary to build trust and mutually beneficial relations with all the actors, including religious organizations.45 Presumably, these are the reasons for the lack of law enforcement capacities in other Central Asian countries.
 
In this regard, besides the obvious need for training of law enforcement employees, it is necessary to reconsider the approach to combat radicalization, focusing more on the prevention of such events, rather than a reaction to them. Moreover, the success of any activities carried out by law enforcement authorities depends on the degree of respect and public confidence in the police and other security services. Therefore, it makes sense to use the approach of public safety, which is based on building trust between the government and the population. This approach is now used in Denmark, and it is aimed at the rehabilitation of militants who returned to their motherland.46 In Central Asia, this approach will be useful in the prevention of radicalism, it can be built on traditional institutions and traditions (the authority of the elders – aksakals). The elders and other community leaders could become an indispensable tool in the prevention of any destructive effects, which is especially important in view of limited resources of the Central Asian countries. These “assistants” could assume the priority objective in the prevention of radicalism – to increase public awareness, playing the role of “de-recruiters.”
 
At the highest level, it is necessary to stop the constant attempts to make the concepts of the Islamization and radicalization equal and to give a clearer definition of the real threat. Then, the representatives of the law enforcement agencies would see a clear task. In this case, instead of restrictions on rights and freedoms, the security services could practice a more loyal and effective method of interaction with the public, rather than intimidation. In addition, in view of the ongoing de-secularization of society, the leaders of the countries could use the Islamic values to stabilize society and develop public-Islamic relations for the benefit of the population, according to the principle “with Islam forward, rather than with Islam backward”. After all, in fact, what is happening today is a struggle for the hearts and minds of people. The success of regional cooperation on the basis of the CSTO depends on this high level. This organization is the only platform of cooperation in the security sphere. Despite the fact that the CSTO has yet not proved to be a complete defense mechanism, the countries in the region have no other alternative. Therefore, the leaders of Central Asian countries need to unite on the basis of this Organization.
 
Zamira Isakova, a security expert, Master, the OSCE Academy.
 
The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of Cabar.asia
 


1 On the results of the meeting of the Collective Security Council session in Dushanbe on September 15, 2015 http://www.odkb-csto.org/authorized_organs/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5420&SECTION_ID=160  (accessed: October 18, 2015)

2 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (accessed: October 18, 2015)

3 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (accessed: October 18, 2015)

4 The CSTO Charter http://www.odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=124 (accessed October 27, 2015)

5  Valentin Bogatyrev, Lesser of all evils: Why Kyrgyzstan sees no alternatives to the CSTO, 23.12.2012 http://www.globalaffairs.ru/number/Menshee-iz-vsekh-zol-15796  (available: October 17 visit 2015)

6 Nikitina Yulia, Security Cooperation in the Post-Soviet Area within the Collective Security Treaty Organization, ISPI Analysis No. 152, January 2013, p 4

7 Nikitina Yulia, Security Cooperation in the Post-Soviet Area within the Collective Security Treaty Organization, ISPI Analysis No. 152, January 2013, p 4

8 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (available: October 18, 2015)

9  Lewis David, What are Russia’s grand designs in Central Asia? October 14.2015 < https://theconversation.com/what-are-russias-grand-designs-in-central-asia-49034> (accessed 1 November  2015)

10 Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region are 5 years old http://www.dkb.gov.ru/g/l.htm  (2 November 2015)

11 Statement by the CSTO member states http://odkb-csto.org/documents/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5403  (available: October 18, 2015)

12 Nikolai Bordyuzha in an interview with ITRC “Mir”: CSTO has taken into account the threat from the Taliban in its security system, 05/10/2015

http://www.odkb-csto.org/presscenter/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5528  (accessed 26 October 2015)

13  The Working Group on counter-terrorism issues under the CSSC CSTO considered the problem of countering international terrorism and extremism in the CSTO zones of responsibility, 9.10.2014 http://www.odkb-csto.org/news/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=4066&SECTION_ID = 91 (accessed October 23, 2015)

14 The written contribution by the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty (21 th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council)

15 Klevakina Elena, Collective Security Treaty Organization in the context of national interests of member states, International organizations Bulletin 2013, No. 2 (41), page 119

16 “Uzbekistan will not solve the issues of national security without the CSTO” – Interview with Secretary General of CSTO newspaper “Moscow News” and RIA “News”, 21 November 2012. http://odkb-csto.org/general_secretary/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=1517  (accessed October 27, 2015)

17 Klevakina Elena, Collective Security Treaty Organization in the context of national interests of member states, International organizations Bulletin 2013, No. 2 (41), page 113

18 Nikiforov Alexei, CSTO: its role, potential and possible measures in case of negative development of the situation in Afghanistan after 2014, Security Challenges in Central Asia, IMEMO, 136-139, page 137

19 Tatiana Kudryavtseva, Fight against extremism: the recipe of the CSTO, 17.09.2015 http://www.24kg.org/sng/19357_borba_s_ekstremizmom_retsept_odkb/  (accessed 20 October 2015)

20 Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs, p.14, October 2015

21 The Uzbek authorities have recognized: two terrorist attacks happened in Tashkent, 30.10.2015 http://inozpress.kg/news/view/id/47332  (accessed October 27, 2015)

22 Abdurasulov Abdujalil, CIS summit: Russia to bolster Central Asia military, 16.10.2015 <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34538051>

23 Orozobekova Cholpon, Central Asia and the ISIS Phantom, 2.10.2015 <http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/central-asia-and-the-isis-phantom/> (accessed 23 October)

24  Anna Dyner, Legiec Arkadiusz, Rekawek Kacper, Ready to go? ISIS and Its Presumed Expansion into Central Asia, PISM, Policy Paper # 19 (121) June 2015

25 John Heathershaw and David W. Montgomery “The Myth of Post-Soviet Radicalisation in the Central Asian Republics,” November 2014 Ghatham House

26  Orozobekova Cholpon, Trouble in Tajikistan, 15.10.2015 <http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/trouble-in-tajikistan/>  (accessed October 23, 2015)

27 Orozobekova Cholpon, Trouble in Tajikistan, 15.10.2015 <http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/trouble-in-tajikistan/>  (accessed October 23, 2015)

28 Tatiana Kudryavtseva, Atambaev: Behind general Islamization, there is the idea of turning the Kyrgyz to mankurts, 03.11.2014, http://www.24kg.org/obschestvo/883_almazbek_atambaev_za_shirokoy_islamizatsiey_stoit_ideya_prevratit_kyirgyizov_v_mankurtov/   (accessed 26 October 2015)

29  In Tajikistan, the police beat a guy, because he wore a beard, 08/31/2015 < http://catoday.org/centrasia/21619-v-tadzhikistane-sotrudniki-milicii-izbili-parnya-za-to-chto-on-nosil-borodu.html> (accessed 26 October 2015)

30  Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

31  Nazarbayev signed the Criminal Code, 3.07.2014 <http://tengrinews.kz/kazakhstan_news/nazarbaev-podpisal-ugolovnyiy-kodeks-258096/>

32  Galdini Franco Islam in Kyrgyzstan: increasing diversity, 22.10.2015 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia-1> (accessed October 29, 2015)

33  The term is also per se is quite controversial and sensitive

34 Tajikistan fears instability as Afghan conflict rages on, 31.10.2015 <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34659530>  (accessed 31 October 2015)

35  Tajikistan has determined a punishment for taking part in “jihad” 6.08.2014, <http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1407301260> (1 November 2015)

36  Syria Calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia, International Crisis Group Policy Briefing, 20 January 2015,  p 11

37 Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

38  Interview with a resident of Suzak district, Jalal-Abad region, October 26, 2015

39 Interview with members of the Public preventive center of Kyzyl-Kiya, October 23, 2015

40  Abdyldaev Marat, Strategies to combat violent extremism in the Kyrgyz Republic, Capacity-building for the prevention of violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (117-133) page 118

40 Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

42 Turusbekov Ratbek, Psychological and social portrait of extremists and terrorists, Strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (pages 133-150) page 140

43 Galdini Franco. Islam in Kyrgyzstan: increasing diversity, 22.10.2015 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia-1> (accessed October 29, 2015)

44   Abdyldaev Marat, Strategies to combat violent extremism in the Kyrgyz Republic, Capacity-building for the prevention of violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (117-133) page 129

45 Emil Zheenbekov, Problems of interaction of law enforcement bodies and religious organizations to counter religious extremism: state and public security, strengthening capacity to prevent violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan, SearchforCommonGround, 2014 (99-117) page 105

46 Syria Calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia, International Crisis Group Policy Briefing, 20 January 2015,  p 10

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