Kazakhs Break up Jamoat Cell

by Nathan Hamm on 11/12/2004

Kazakh authorities have rounded up members of a cell of Jamoat of Central Asian Mujahideen (whose name makes much more sense when expanded beyond Jamoat — “Society”), the group said to be behind this year’s bombings in Uzbekistan. According to Reuters, the cell was planning an attack against a high-ranking Uzbek official.

Bozhko said the illegal group had been set up by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a group that targets the Uzbek government and has had links to al Qaeda in Afghanistan, according to security analysts.

KNB operatives seized weapons, explosives, banned literature and cassettes with speeches by Osama bin Laden, he said.

“Those arrested confessed that their future participation in acts of terrorism and suicide attacks had been explained to them by the need to fight the Uzbek authorities who allegedly oppress Muslims,” the KNB said in a statement.

“They also were told to fight ‘enemies of Islam’, including the United States, Britain and Israel.”

During two years in Kazakhstan Jamaat recruited 50 Uzbeks and up to 20 Kazakhs, Bozhko said. Some of them were trained in al Qaeda’s camps abroad, he said.

KNB officers ran a video cassette for journalists, featuring a modestly dressed middle-aged woman. They said she was a mother of four who had been trained as a suicide bomber. (Emphasis mine)

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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