Friday, March 29, 2024

Immigrants to Russia from Central Asia and Caucasus Now Form Such a Large Share of Islamic State Radicals that Russian is ‘the Common Language’ in ISIS, Serenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 25 – Immigrant workers from Central Asia and the Caucasus now form such a large component of recruits to the Islamic State terrorist movement that “Russian is now the common language” used by various terrorist groups, according to Andrey Serenko, head of the Moscow Center for the Study of Islamic Politics.

            The reason, he suggests, is that ISIS presents itself a way out of the difficulties migrants in Russia face; and the number of such recruits is so large relative to other national groups that the adherents of the Islamic State use Russian to communicate (

            Consequently, if xenophobia in the Russian population and repression by the Russian state continue to increase, the number of people from Central Asia and the Caucasus turning to ISIS will only grow, threatening not only Russia but targets in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, Serenko says.

            And because killing as many non-believers as possible has become the center of ISIS ideology and because the leaders of this movement want to achieve their very own “911,” the attacks by these Russian-speaking groups not only in Russia but around the world are likely to become increasingly murderous, Serenko says.

            The Olympics in France later this year is certain to be threatened by such attacks, he suggests; but anywhere that large numbers of people are concentrated for whatever reason could become targets as ISIS seeks the kind of bloodshed that will make its “brand” even more widely known and attractive to radicals.

            This trend, the Russian specialist on Afghanistan says, has been intensifying over the last several years, a time when the world has been distracted by the war in Ukraine. But the latest attack on the Crocus Center in Moscow is a sign that the world is about to enter a new and more frightening period of Islamist terrorism.

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