Friday, April 26, 2024

Two Weeks Before Crocus City Attack, Tajikistan’s President Expressed Concern about Tajik Involvement in Terrorist Actions Abroad and at Home

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 21 – Two weeks before terrorists attacked the Crocus City venue in Moscow, Emomali Rakhmon, the president of Tajikistan, publicly expressed concern about the participation of citizens of his country in terrorist acts in 10 foreign countries over the last three years and blamed the intelligence services of other countries for recruiting them.

            Tajik and Russian sources reported his speech at the time (, but it is now being given expanded attention in Moscow media because it both confirms one Kremlin version of the Moscow attack and provides justification for taking a tougher line against Tajik migrant workers (

            Islamist extremists have also carried out 6700 terrorist attacks inside Tajikistan over the last decade, but the authorities have not been able to arrest all those involved. The Fergana news agency says that more than 4,000 Tajiks are still wanted for such actions by Tajikistan’s police (

            President Rakhmon places the blame for radicalism in his country on the rise of Salafism there, a trend within Islam that calls for jihad against both unbelievers and other groups in the faith, including the Hanafi and Ismaili trends of Islam which are followed by the majority of Tajiks.

            He argues that Salafism has been introduced in Tajikistan in two ways: by Muslims who have studied abroad and then become imams in the mosques of that country and by the return home of 1640 Tajiks who had fought for ISIS abroad and who were pardoned by the state after promising to break with it (


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