Central Asia Militants: A Rhetorical Question of Funding & Sponsors

Central Asian Militants, Pan-Turkic Aims & Mysterious Financiers

armsI just finished reading an interesting article at Asia Times on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is characterized by some as Central Asia's most aggressive militant group. The main focus of the article is placed on the status, recent expansion and transformation of IMU: The IMU is no longer a small band of militants focused on taking down the Uzbek regime and replacing it with an Islamic state. Today, it has a much wider reach and more ambitious goals, and has underlined its revival with attacks that suggest a presence across a wide swathe of South and Central Asia.

Considering my own focus, which I am sure many of you are pretty familiar with by now, the following bits and pieces, none of which happen to receive any elaboration or even a slight explanation by the author, deserve the real attention:

The IMU or its affiliates have been named in connection with a number of recent attacks at home and abroad. One, the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), has been blamed for attacks in Uzbekistan in May 2009 and made headlines around the world this fall after Western intelligence determined they were planning Mumbai-style attacks on European soil… The IJU, considered a more radical affiliate of the IMU, attracts recruits from Germany's burgeoning Turkish Diaspora and Turkic nations, leading observers to suggest that it is driven by pan-Turkic aims.

And this:

"The most essential things that need to be addressed are the control of the movement of militants and the control of their finances," Babar says. "What finances them? We believe that the drug trade is financing them

As you can see in the article the Central Asian context-states-players are: Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Tajikistan along Afghanistan’s northern borders, and with that we are back to my previous coverage of the trio in terms of unwritten and unspoken US foreign policies:

Things certainly haven’t been looking up for our MIC, Oil, and related mega companies in that part of the world. And this kind of situation puts our ‘real’ foreign policy makers in their ‘enemies-of-our-enemies’ are needed mode. And when that happens the rest will follow: contracts for our good ole Mujahideen friends, convenient terrorism related incidents and pipeline sabotages right and left, a more aggressive control of the opium trade to finance unwritten-unspoken foreign policy practices …

I suggest you read the recent article by Asia Times, and please keep in mind the cases of Mysterious Helicopter Activities in Northern Afghanistan and BF Post’s coverage  here and here. Because when it comes to answering the ‘real’ questions, the questions of funding and sponsorship, we need context, historical records, and a bit of critical thinking, and that my friends, has been largely missing in this article and similar media coverage. And finally, keep an eye on the upcoming Wikileaks’ cables for 1996-2001 Central Asia & Caucasus related goodies…that is, if they are included, or, if they are not among ‘insurance files,’ or, if the internet is not filtered & controlled by then, or…

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Comments

  1. Bill Bergman says:

    What ‘we need’ may be ‘largely missing,’ but not totally missing given your work, Sibel, and the work of others. Why did it take so long for things to come, as they appear to have come, to a point where we might even see some real progress? Whatever. All we have is now, and what we can create. We owe it to the past to do it justice. Carefully, but well.

  2. And yet not one dikileak about the massive illegal drug trade in Afghanistan which we know the CIA profits from and uses to finance off the book operations. Thank you Sibel, Always follow the money.

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