Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Tajikistan

As the poorest of the former Soviet countries, the Tajik government's main impediment to counterterrorism remained its lack of resources. The government, particularly the Border Guards, lacked appropriate technical equipment, personnel, and training to effectively interdict illegal border crossings and to detect and analyze hazardous substances. As a result, Tajikistan could serve as a transit country for extremists and terrorists traveling to and from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The United States and other donors assisted the government of Tajikistan to secure its 1400 kilometer porous border with Afghanistan.

Assistance included a $5 million U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) radio program to improve Border Guard communications capability. DOD held four Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) sessions with Tajikistani security forces to improve their capacity to conduct counterterrorism operations. The U.S. Embassy administered training which included chemical weapons response and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) detection training. These programs will help Tajikistan stop potential terrorists who may attempt to cross the Tajikistani border, and will enable Tajikistan to better control its borders.

Tajikistan endorsed the joint U.S.-Russia co-chaired Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. In November, it hosted a regional conference to discuss with its neighbors more effective cooperation to counter WMD proliferation. The Tajikistani government also participated in regional security alliances, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Since September 11, 2001, the Government of Tajikistan has allowed its airspace to be used for counterterrorist actions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Tajikistan prohibited extremist-oriented activities and closely monitored groups it listed as terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Hizbut-Tahrir (HT). The Government of Tajikistan believed that HT, in particular, was active in the northern part of the country. Analysts believed that supporters of terrorist groups such as al-Qa'ida and the IMU were active in the region this year.

The Government of Tajikistan did not provide safe haven for terrorists or terrorist organizations. However, the country's poor economic climate and repressive government policies to restrict Islamic religious practice provided conditions that religious extremists could exploit. Events occurred in Tajikistan that may have been terrorism-related. A small bomb exploded outside the Supreme Court on June 17, causing no injuries or serious damage, and another bomb detonated at a conference hall on November 14, killing one person. These incidents remained under investigation at year's end.

Under the guise of fighting extremism, the Government of Tajikistan has taken increased measures against opposition parties in the country, particularly the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), the only legal Muslim opposition party in Central Asia.


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