U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 - Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan authorities recognized an indigenous extremist problem following the revelation of participation by Kazakhs in the terrorist bombings in neighboring Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2004. Since then, the government has improved counterterrorist legislation and has stepped up cooperation with the United States.

The trial of 16 individuals accused of participating in the 2004 Tashkent bombings resulted in their conviction in December 2005, with sentences of six to 25 years in prison. At the end of 2005, the Kazakh Parliament was working on a terrorist financing law to make it easier for prosecutors to win convictions.

Kazakhstan had a growing problem with the Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), an extremist political movement advocating the establishment of a theocratic Islamic state throughout the entire Muslim world. HT walked a fine line between free speech and incitement to terrorism, thus creating a high level of concern among Kazakh authorities. Because existing counterterrorist legislation did not provide legal grounds to designate HT as a terrorist group, the government adopted in February the Law on Extremism creating a new, albeit poorly defined, legal category of banned "extremist" organizations. To date, HT is the only group designated under this new law. The United States has no evidence that HT committed acts of international terrorism, but the group's radical anti-American and anti-Semitic ideology is sympathetic to acts of violence against the United States and its allies.

The United States added the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), sometimes called the Islamic Jihad Group (IJG), to its list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The IJU is a terrorist splinter group from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) that appeared in southern Kazakhstan. (See Chapter 8, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for further information.)

Kazakhstan, along with China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which established a regional antiterrorism center in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan is also a member of the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasia Group, a regional anti-money laundering organization, or Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, that includes Belarus, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia. Kazakhstani cooperation and timeliness in sharing terror-related information with the United States improved. In November, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Threat Reduction Organization held a one-week training class in Kazakhstan on combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Kazakhstani participants were drawn from the Committee for National Security, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Border Guards, and the Atomic Energy Commission.

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