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Kyrgyzstan’s Islamic State Hysteria Feeds on Conjecture

Kyrgyz men pray at a mosque in Osh in May 2006. Kyrgyz news media warn of a potential danger that Islamic extremists from Kyrgyzstan now fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria can return home and destabilize this Central Asian country. (Photo: Dean C.K. Cox)

Fears of militant Islam are nothing new in Kyrgyzstan. Over the past decade and a half, Kyrgyz media have warned about a progression of Islamic bogeymen posing a dire threat to the region – including the Taliban, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Now, there is supposedly a new threat that radiates from distant lands.
 
The threat du jour in Kyrgyzstan is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, sometimes known as ISIS, or simply IS, the Islamic State.  
 
Verifiable facts are hard to come by when it comes to the IS as a potential threat in Central Asia. The number of IS fighters from Central Asia is thought to be growing. And anger with the region’s corrupt governments would seem to provide fertile soil for radicalism to flourish. That is prompting speculation about what will happen when battle-hardened fighters return home radicalized by the most vicious jihad movement in modern times.
 

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Kyrgyzstan’s Islamic State Hysteria Feeds on Conjecture

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