At least 400 Kazak nationals believed to be in Syria or Iraq.In mid-October, Kazakstan’s government added Islamic State to the list of designated terrorist organisations.
The move reflects official concerns that some 400 nationals of the Central Asian state have gone to Syria and Iraq, both combatants and dependents. Some experts believe the true figure could be closer to 2,000.
The authorities are trying to exclude Islamic State propaganda material from websites based in Kazakstan, fearing that it serves as a recruiting call for the group. Site owners have, for example, been told to remove footage of alleged child soldiers from Kazakstan that appeared on the net.
A former officer with Kazakstan’s State Security Committee, believes the service is finding it hard to keep pace with Islamic State’s effective recruitment campaign.
Botagoz Seidakhmetova is IWPR’s Kazakstan radio editor.
This audio programme was produced under an IWPR project called Strengthening Capacities, Bridging Divides in Central Asia, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of IWPR and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Norwegian government.