OSW Commentary - Islamic State-Khorasan: global jihad’s new front - A historical perspective


OSW Commentary - Islamic State-Khorasan: global jihad’s new front - A historical perspective

5 Apr 2024

As regards the latest attack in Russia, the following aspects raise serious doubts: the ease with which it was carried out, the professionalism of the perpetrators during the attack, which contrasted with their striking awkwardness during their escape, the vague circum- stances of their capture, the evidence compiled to prove the participation in the attack of individuals 3 See Eighteenth report o. [...] Against the backdrop of IS’s functioning thus far, certain intriguing aspects involve the ‘lack of professionalism’ of the immediate perpetrators of the attacks (the rifles used by the Istanbul attackers reportedly jammed; both these attackers and those at Krasnogorsk were de- tained successfully) and the abandonment of the practice of suicide attacks (Istanbul, Krasnogorsk). [...] The involvement of representatives of this region in radical movements is not new.8 On a relatively limited scale, Islamic radicalism has emerged in Central Asia in the past: for example, during the civil war in Tajikistan (1992–7); in connection with the activity of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Jihad Union; and with other isolated terrorist attacks carried out in this part o. [...] Outlook It should be assumed that the present increase in activity by ISIS-K (and IS as a whole) is both a mani- festation of a deliberate adjustment of the organisation’s strategy and a reflection of the international situation (including the aggravation of the crisis in the Middle East) and certain social aspects (such as the problems faced by Central Asian migrants in Russia). [...] The activity of ISIS-K (and more broadly speaking, the increased activity of radical and terrorist groups) continues to create conditions for the secret services of various countries (in particular Russia) to manage and engage these groups for the purposes of their internal and international politics, and that significantly increases the magnitude of the challenges posed by the radicals.


Krzysztof Strachota; Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)

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