After the «Caliphate»: the defeated IG* crawls to the borders of the former USSR

© 2017 AFP / Ahmad Al-RubayeСтена with the flag of ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) during the operation to liberate al-Qaim from terroristsAfter the «Caliphate»: the defeated IG* crawls to the borders of the former USSR© 2017 AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye

Military defeat, who suffer militants ISIS* in Iraq and Syria, forcing the jihadists to change tactics and deployment. In the foreseeable future the base of the terrorists can move to Afghanistan, where authorities no longer cope with the radicals. The police IG* on the borders of post-Soviet space are dangerous for Russia — part of a contingent of the Islamists in the new territories are ethnic Uzbeks. In 2017, immigrants from Central Asia repeatedly detained by Russian law enforcement on charges of preparing terrorist attacks. Some of those arrested were linked to international Islamist networks. Variants of development of events after the collapse of IG*— in the material RIA Novosti.

Jihadists recruit Uzbeks

In 2014 IG* controlled extensive territory on the border of Syria and Iraq, threatening the main city in the region — Baghdad. At its peak the supporters of the Caliph al-Baghdadi was able to enlist the support of Islamist groups in Africa and Central Asia, receiving from the pledge of allegiance. Today, the survivors of the regional office of criminal groups pose the greatest danger. Them aspire to join the jihadists who are not going to abandon the armed struggle.

In conversation with RIA Novosti, the teacher VSHE Grigory Lukyanov said that Afghanistan is geographically close to the former Soviet space, became the center managed to remain IG*. «The situation in this country can be called a dead-end. Neither the state government nor the opponents of the Taliban* does not have resources to deal with ISIS*. Supporters of the «Caliphate» has secured the control over the flow of drug trafficking and smuggling in certain parts of the country, so economically invulnerable. In the foreseeable future, the Afghan IG* is stable: it is almost nothing threatens neither from a military nor from an economic point of view. It is to this group you can join, some broken in Syria and Iraq jihadists,» — said Lukyanov.

To separate IG* entrenched in Afghanistan, the typical rate for ethnic diversity and the mass involvement of volunteers from the outside — the internationalization of Jihad. The split between the Taliban* and this grouping often takes place along tribal lines. Dangerous trend: Afghan Uzbeks and Tajiks, tribesmen who live on the territory of the former USSR, join the ISIS*, feeling of discrimination by the Pashtun majority. Through this channel the influence of the supporters of the «Caliphate» may reach out to Russia.

The last big terrorist attack: what’s cooking IG*

Along with the Afghan scenario, involving migration to the East, there is another scenario. Followers IG* can be sent to the West to make the last in the history of your organization a major terrorist attack. In November of 2017 informational resources of the groups made threats against the Roman Catholic Church, promising to attack her. Even called the place where supposedly going to be impacted — the Vatican.

Islamist groups do often choose symbolic dates to commit attacks. So, in 2016, a terrorist attack in Berlin occurred at a Christmas market in anticipation of the holiday. In the same year the Islamists have committed mass murder on independence Day of France. In 2015 for the attack was also selected «talking date» — the so-called black Friday on November 13.

However, it remains unclear whether IG* forces for the final attack. According to Grigory Lukyanov, a major terrorist attack supporters of the «Caliphate» in the foreseeable future unlikely to ever happen where you least expect it. In addition, the danger can come from unexpected directions. «Today IG* defeated, and no ability to strike in Europe it is not so much. The organization had a powerful apparatus of control, but, thank God, it’s destroyed. Quite another thing — al Qaeda*, the recent extremely strong. Of competition with ISIS* the heirs of bin Laden came out stronger than ever. Today’s leadership in the international terrorist underground belongs to them. Network structure with a weakened Central leadership was more effective than the «Caliphate» have relied on the figure of the leader» — sums up the expert. He believes that it is necessary to wait for the attacks to Christian holidays in Europe, and where it is easier to act the jihadists in Africa.

What will happen with Iraq and Syria?

According to the state Department, the liberation of all territories occupied by ISIS,* may happen in the near future — before the end of the year. However, the return of the former authorities does not guarantee that a peaceful life will start anew. In the 2000s, in the territories then included in the composition of the IG* did the group «al-Qaeda in Iraq»*, which has enlisted the support of the local people. Third return of the jihadists to the same land is possible if the authorities of the country, mostly Shia, will discriminate against the Sunni minority.

In comments to RIA Novosti Director of the Center for the study of the Middle East and Central Asia semen Bagdasarov suggested that the pessimistic scenario may again be on the agenda. «If they adopted political measures against the population that supported ISIS*, the answer will be a guerrilla war, and in the future — the emergence of the second IG*», — the expert believes. Bagdasarov reminds that «this has already passed Americans.» From the point of view of the orientalist, Iraq and Syria have complicated the «incubation period» of restoration of peaceful relations between different communities in the country, the result of which is unknown.

The danger of the revival of the Islamist threat in former forms indicated by the fact that after the defeat of the IG* the vast majority of his supporters are arrested or detained. As in Syria, and Iraq authorities have no organizational resources for such measures. Much of the former militants will remain in Iraq and Syria, hiding the flows of refugees or temporarily adhered to a more moderate Islamist organizations. In the case of negative developments, the recovery of the IG* or its equivalent will be only a matter of time.

*A terrorist organization banned in Russia.

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