Country Seeks to Mitigate Development of Potential Kazakh-Born Terrorists

Deputy Chairman of the National Security Committee (KNB) Nurgali Bilisbekov announced recently that a Kazakh “assassin” who planned to carry out bombings and attacks against Kazakh law enforcement bodies was prevented from returning to Kazakhstan in June from Syria and that a Kyrgyz demolitions expert was apprehended in Shymkent.


“The Kyrgyz intelligence service detained and handed us a Kazakhstan citizen, who attended mine and explosives training in Syria and returned to Central Asia to commit terrorist acts in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. During the arrest, an explosive device was found in his possession,” Bilisbekov said during a recent roundtable discussion titled, “International Terrorism: Modern Tendencies and Counteracting Its Effects on Youth,” according to a report by Forbes Kazakhstan. “In addition, together with our Kyrgyz and Uzbek counterparts, we neutralised a subversive terrorist group from Syria and Turkey, which planned a series of resonant terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.”

Bilisbekov reported that according to committee information, about 150 Kazakh citizens are involved in combat operations in foreign countries as part of terrorist groups. And about 200 women, who are their wives, widows and children are also involved.

According to him, some of these people are the victims of radical propaganda.

“In fact, they are deceived people, deceived by their compatriots. Many of them have realised their mistakes and want to return home, but are afraid,” Bilisbekov said.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of 2014, 15 Kazakh citizens returned home from terrorist camps. Three of them were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, criminal cases against two persons are currently being investigated and the purpose of return of two persons is being clarified, the deputy chairman said.

According to Bilisbekov, the remaining eight persons were released from criminal liability in connection with their non-participation in terrorist activities.

Also, he reported that more than 80 persons were prevented from being recruited by militants in Kazakhstan in 2014. According to him, preventive measures are being applied and Kazakhstan citizens are sometimes prohibited from going abroad as part of efforts to thwart terrorist actions.

“These approaches are justified. The flow of recruits from Kazakhstan has significantly reduced. Last year, over 80 people have renounced such intentions,” said Bilisbekov. “Another channel for recruitment is through theological institutions, most of which are illegal in these countries. We do work on getting such students to return. Already 90 young people have returned. Here, conditions for theological education on the basis of domestic institutions have been created for them.”

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!