Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tracking Islamic State

Tajik IS Militant In Syria: 'We'll Convert Native Americans To Islam And Build Them Mosques'

A screen capture from a video of purported Tajik Islamic State militant Abu Kholidi Kulobi. The video appeared online in August 2014.
A screen capture from a video of purported Tajik Islamic State militant Abu Kholidi Kulobi. The video appeared online in August 2014.

A Tajik militant claiming to be fighting alongside the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria has told RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Radio Ozodi, that his goal is to introduce Shari'a law throughout the world, including among Native Americans.

The 38-year-old militant, who gave his name as Nusrat Nazarov, also goes under several other names including Makhsumi Nurat and Abu Kholidi Kulobi. A video of a Tajik militant named Abu Kholidi Kulobi appeared online in August.

Nazarov says that he is from the village of Charmgaron in the Kulob district of Tajikistan and that he went to Syria two years ago and now lives in a suburb of Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital in Syria.

According to Nazarov, he had been living and working in Moscow before coming to Syria via Turkey.

"This is not the only route. There are dozens of other ways for our brothers to unite with us. If Turkey closes the route, then there is Yemen and other states," Nazarov said.

According to Nazarov, he originally fought alongside Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate.

"After I learned about their cooperation with the West, I quit their ranks," Nazarov said.

Devotion, Not Dollars

Nazarov emphasized that he had held "jihadist intentions" since the early 1990s and that he had studied the basics of Islam since he was a child.

According to Nazarov, during the early 1990s he took part in religious preaching in the main square of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

"I wasn't forced to come here. I came as a devout Muslim. I came for faith, not for cash," Nazarov said of his decision to come to Syria, refuting allegations that he had done so to make money.

Nazarov told Radio Ozodi that there are as many as 2,000 Tajiks fighting in IS and that around 500 had been killed.

"Here you see people and you feel like you're in Tajikistan. If things go on the way they have been doing in Tajikistan, there won't be anyone left, they will all come here," Nazarov said.

However, these figures are almost certainly hyperbole. While it is not known exactly how many Tajik nationals are fighting in Syria, the State Committee for the National Security of Tajikistan said in November that as many as 300 Tajiks have gone to join the fighting.

According to Edward Lemon from the UK's University of Exeter, who researches and tracks Tajik militants in Iraq and Syria, there are over 60 documented Tajiks in Syria.

Spreading Shari'a -- Even To Native Americans

Nazarov said that IS planned to spread Shari'a law around the world and subjugate the global population to the "caliphate" (the name given by IS to the areas under its control.)

"Even the [Native Americans] will have to live under Shari'a. We will take them tubeteikas [Central Asian caps, worn in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan], we will build mosques for them, and we will live with them according to the laws of Allah," Nazarov said.

The Tajik militant, however, threatened to kill Tajik religious figures who had spoken out against Tajik nationals traveling to Syria to wage jihad.

Despite his threats, however, Nazarov insisted that he wanted to "spread Shari'a law in Tajikistan without war."

'I Begged My Wife To Join Me, But She Refused'

Nazarov said that he had begged his wife to join him in Syria, but she would not come.

The Tajik militant also commented on a video message made by his brother, Khairollo Nazarov, who asked him to come home.

"I heard his words. The words that he said are those of the government. They'd better not blackmail my wife, because that will lead to not very good consequences for officials in Tajikistan," Nazarov said.

The Tajik militant told Radio Ozodi that his family in Tajikistan is under "constant pressure" to bring him back to his homeland.

'I'll Kill You All'

Earlier this month, a Tajik journalist reported that he had received threats from Nazarov.

Ibrokhim Ahmad, the chief editor of the independent newspaper Pajk, which is distributed mainly in the south of Tajikistan, said that on the evening of January 6 he had received a telephone call from a man calling himself "Makhsum Musrat" -- also known as Nazarov -- who said he was fighting with IS in Syria.

The militant said he was not happy with certain materials that had been published in Pajk, which he said "denigrated the mujahedin [militants]." 

Nazarov then threatened to avenge himself against the reporters who had published the materials.

"He demanded that we refrain from publishing anything that vilified the mujahideen. He was unhappy about the fact that we had published his photo. He also said that if we continue to publish such material, he has people in Tajikistan whom he has tasked to kill the journalists who wrote this material," Ahmad said.

Nazarov's brother Khairollo said that the threats should not be taken seriously.

"He hasn't got people in Kulob. The only person he has is me, his brother. I've been driving taxis for 20 years, I pray, and I don't have any complaints against anyone. I'm also looking after his three kids. Can a normal person ditch his children and go to fight?!" Khairollo said.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
by: Jack from: US
January 30, 2015 14:35
Hillary will convert the whole US to Islam sooner than that Tajik imagines
In Response

by: Mamuka
February 01, 2015 01:06
Score one for Jack. That puts his current score at 1.
In Response

by: Ibrahim from: West coast
February 01, 2015 05:31
The finger is the finger of tawheed, or unitt. It means the essential nature of God is indivisible.

by: American Tolerast
January 30, 2015 17:39
I've been asking this since at least 9/11, but is there a name for that one-finger-raised gesture that all jihadists seem to use when preaching? Does it look patrician in their culture? Because they need to understand that it makes them look like elementary students afraid to interrupt the teacher but urgently needing the bathroom pass before disaster strikes. It's literally impossible to take them seriously when they make that gesture. Even if they do it while, say, severing a prisoner's head, the juxtaposition just seems like a culturally insensitive comedy sketch.
In Response

by: captain canuck
February 01, 2015 04:10
actually i thought he was going to say...pull my finger
In Response

by: McMillen from: USA
February 01, 2015 22:45
For Salafi jihadists groups, the hand gesture of the index finger pointing up represents one God and their willingness to die for Islam, thus attaining martyrdom and entrance into paradise.

by: Anonymous
February 01, 2015 05:29
so funny!

muslim radicals try for years to bring down governments in various muslim nations.

they dream of conquering the world.

in the end within muslim nations people will realize that even if some people do sympathize with the radical ideology
these guys will bring nothing than rape, arbitrary killings, and pseudo religious ideas which eventually lead only to a religiously fascist dystopia.

there should be a state for radical islamists: that the world and especially radicalized muslims see (if they havent already learned from afghanistan., iraq, lybia, nigeria, hamas gaza, syria, pakistan, etc. etc. that except for some they will be no prosperity, no education other than religious stuff, no freedom, no justice at all.

try to convert the world. how? killing all who refuse?

that some people (mostly women and prisoners) in non-muslim nations convert to islam is mostly due to social motivation (friends, partner, alienation from society) and a lack of understanding of the islamic texts.
these people havent read the quran, hadith. men dream of shihada and power, think of themselves as prophets, desire huris in paradise, women leave freedoms for submission, mostly relationships fail. even the radicalized muslim women who want to be with a jihadist sooner or later get disenchanted and realize their misunderstanding.

these guys seem to suffer from severe mental prpblems, complex of inferiority and megalomany at the same time.

by: Sam
February 02, 2015 00:09
Umm okay then....he doesn't seem that bright to me.

by: Eli from: Hawaii
February 02, 2015 19:42
Well, I certainly don't speak for all American Indians but he won't be giving me a cap, building me a mosque or living among my people. We did not fear the Colonialists though we were outnumbered and we do not fear the islamists either.
In Response

by: pat
February 03, 2015 18:15
No your tribe feared other barbaric native tribes.
In Response

by: Eli from: Hawaii
February 03, 2015 20:06
Is there a reason you make that comment Pat? One) You have no idea what tribe I am from so you have no idea who or who was not a traditional enemy. Two) Exactly which tribes are you calling barbaric? If you are going to troll a comment at least have the courage to teach me the history you seem to think you know so well.

by: Anonymous
February 02, 2015 19:48
No native will help them !

by: Joe from: cali
February 02, 2015 23:19
Native Americans have enough problems with Christianity in America we don't need another religion that's screwed up you can keep your Islamic religion !!

by: LW from: United States
February 03, 2015 00:20
I'll have to do a lot of research I am not going to take the word of a white man. Either way the creator gave each tribe it's own culture and spirituality and we need to hold on to them. The Sioux and others that are good, are the closest people to Jesus.

by: Joshua Nevaquaya from: Apache, ok
February 03, 2015 02:10
I have the Native American church and that's all I need
In Response

by: john thoms from: wisconsin
February 04, 2015 11:13
I love NAC

by: NativesAlltheWay
February 03, 2015 07:54
Native Americans are way to smart to join some Islamic Religion. Nope that is not for us. Stay away from America and stay away from our lands. You are crazy enough to destroy your own people and thinking that more lives will be taken by Native Americans. Nope we want peace in the name of our Creature of all Creations. Were not dumb and brainwash like you guys. All you guys want to do is kill, but not live in peace for your country. You do not fight for your country, and you do not protect your people and family. allah is fake and will never have your back. Go find yourself another god.
Comments page of 3

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

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