Pakistani Terrorists in Mongolia?

by Alec Metz on 5/5/2013 · 7 comments

Last week it was announced in the Mongolian press that three Pakistani terror suspects had been arrested at Chinggis Khaan International in Ulaan Baatar by the police and intelligence agency of Mongolia as they were trying to enter the country ( This is unusual for Mongolia; it is the only country I’m aware of in mainland Asia besides Bhutan that has so far avoided any taint of terrorism. There has, of course, been a serious upswing in racism/xenophobia in the country resulting in mob violence and racist rap videos (which would seem more of a deterrent to foreign terror organizations), but no domestic group has yet been accused of terrorism. Outside groups seem to have similarly avoided the country; it’s not really on the way to anywhere, has no organic support network terror groups can rely upon, and despite a shaky banking sector and some money laundering problems, is not terribly attractive to foreign terror organizations. So one wonders what the three Pakistani terror suspects would be doing there.

The suspects, Ramzan Hafiz Mohammed, Mohammed Ramzan Bakhsh, and Khizar Hayat, don’t seem to have any terrorism charges pending according to Interpol, but in the news reports terrorism charges were alleged. Since May 1, I haven’t seen anything more about this story. Do any readers know more about this story?

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– author of 18 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Alec Metz is an independent policy analyst focusing on security and development in South and Central Asia.

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Babe May 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

There are 100 thousand muslim Kazakhs in the country. Kazakhstan covers its terror activities as mafia. Perhaps, the returning Kazakhs after studying Islam inviting their brothers over?

Hanper May 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I think they just want some vacation.

anan May 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Mongolia has troops in Afghanistan. Specifically training D30s and possibly mortars.

Not sure what to make of this.

Alec Metz May 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm

There are about 200 Mongolian soldiers in Afghanistan now, but Mongolia’s had a presence there since at least 2006, so I rather doubt this is a reaction to that. At least not a timely one. They were also one of the nations first in Iraq in 2003, with about 130 troops.

I suspect, IF the arrested do in fact have terror ties, that they were using the country as a rendezvous point or safe harbour away from prying eyes. Still, I’m not convinced the detained actually are terror suspects.

anan May 8, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Agreed Alec.

J.H. Gunther May 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I bet they were coming to UB for the excellent Mongolian stir-fry!!!

Alec Metz May 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

Now it seems one was deported while the other two are still being held.

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