Terrorism problem not acute in Kazakhstan

Photo: Terrorism problem not acute in Kazakhstan / Kazakhstan

Astana, Kazakhstan, April 1

By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

Kazakhstan is among the countries where the problem of terrorism is not acute, Kazakh political scientist Yerlan Karin said at a briefing in Astana referring to the results of studies of international experts on combating extremism and terrorism.

"There is always a need for comparative analysis of the situation in our region with the situations in other countries and in the whole world. According to studies of the international organizations, Kazakhstan belongs to the group of countries with a low level risk of terrorism threat. Those events that have occurred in our country earlier, are not classified as attacks on a global perspective by the experts. That is to say Kazakhstan does not belong to the activity zone of terrorist organizations," he said.

The analysis of international trends in the field of security (U.S. Department of State report and the data of the Institute of World Economy) indicates that the risk of terrorist attacks increased 10 times over the past 15 years in the world, according to the analyst.

"All agree unanimously that there was a splash in the terrorist activity in the mid 2000s," Karin said.

In the 1960 - 70s the attacks were aimed at government agencies and strategic targets, according to the analysis, the expert said.

"Now the purpose of terrorist groups are not only government agencies and law enforcement services, but also ordinary citizens. Therefore, there are many victims among ordinary people in recent years," the analyst said.

The evolution of terrorism threat passed three stages in Kazakhstan, according to the expert.

"The first stage - late 90's - early 2000s - a period of escaped terrorists, when the members of illegal armed groups of other countries have tried to find refuge in our country. Second period - the recruiting period from 2006 to 2010, when some citizens were propagandized for participation in terrorist attacks in the territory of other countries. The third stage - the emergence of certain groups who have tried to plan terrorist attacks," Karin said.

He cited data from the Center for Social and Political Studies "Strategy" which conducted a survey over 220 convicted on terrorism charges.

"Social characteristics of persons convicted on terrorism charges are following: more than 55 per cent of criminal cases` participants - are young people aged from17 to 29, 36 per cent of which are under 25, and 35 per cent - in the age of 30 - 35 years. The youngest is 17 years old and the oldest - 48," the expert said.

Some 56 members of radical groups had a secondary school diploma, one of them graduated only after four classes, according to the expert. Some 16 percent had a special secondary education, 18 percent - higher education.

"Only six percent of the 220 convicted on this charge attended special religious institutions. This suggests that the majority of the involved people are those who have not religious education," the expert said.

Furthermore, the conclusion reached by the Strategy experts is that radical groups had horizontal interaction. That is to say, they did not have a single solutions center, a single center of the activity planning and third - they did not have sustainable funding channels.

Translated by S.I.

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