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Is IS Coming For Every Central Asian State?


A video grab allegedly shows Islamic State (IS) militants waving the trademark Jihadist flag near Mosul, Iraq

A video grab allegedly shows Islamic State (IS) militants waving the trademark Jihadist flag near Mosul, Iraq

Some sources suggest the Islamic militant group currently dominating world headlines is also Central Asia’s greatest extremist challenge. There has not yet been any indication Islamic State (IS) is in a position to threaten Central Asia, but militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan have expressed support for IS -- and these latter groups are on Central Asia’s doorstep.

What kind of a threat does IS represent to Central Asia and what conditions could allow the group to become a genuine menace to the region?

On October 16, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, Radio Azatlyk convened a roundtable of experts to discuss the IS threat. Participants in the discussion included:

  • Casey Michel (Journalist, currently at the Harriman Institute)
  • Bruce Pannier (RFE/RL)
  • Alisher Sidikov (RFE/RL Uzbek Service)
  • Abubakar Siddique (RFE/RL)


The roundtable was moderated by Turkmen Service Director Muhammad Tahir.

Read Bruce Pannier's overview of the conversation

Listen to the discussion:

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