Key Messages, Images, and Media Channels Radicalizing Youth in Kyrgyzstan

Radical ideologies and violent extremism continue to plague Kyrgyzstan and the Central Asia region, with approximately 2,000 Central Asians traveling to Syria and Iraq to join violent extremist groups. As fear of terrorism has grown in the region, the Kyrgyz government has increased scrutiny of Islam, with authorities conducting “appraisals” of clergy leaders, and violent clashes occurring between state police and suspected violent extremists. Despite these crackdowns, however, recruitment into religious-based violent extremist organizations continues both in-person and online. Social media plays a significant role in the dissemination and absorption of radical ideologies and narratives in Kyrgyzstan. Internet sites and mobile phone applications, including those that allow for messaging and content exchange, are actively used by extremist groups banned in Kyrgyzstan, such as the Islamic State (ISIS).

Tags: Foreign Fighters, ISIS, Radicalisation, Violent Jihadism