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Successes and failures in the fight against terrorism
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, 11 2007

Successes and failures in the fight against extremism and terrorism in the Republic of Kazakhstan

In these countries one can observe almost every year operations by law enforcement agencies aimed at locating and detaining of members of various extremist organizations. Kazakhstan is no exception, however, since the activities of such organizations have also been noted here.

In Kazakhstan steps are being taken at various levels to prevent the spread of extremist teachings, or the establishment of terrorist and extremist organizations within the republic.

Key actions by the authorities have focused on the following areas: improving the legal framework; creating a database of organizations whose activities are prohibited within Kazakhstan; joint exercises to combat terrorist organizations; conducting preventive operations to identify and detain members of terrorist and extremist organizations.

A continuously improving legal and regulatory framework has been worked out in the country, aimed at countering manifestations of terrorism and extremism.

There are laws in effect, titled: Combating Terrorism, Countering Extremism, and Prevention legalization (laundering) of proceeds from illegal activities and terrorism financing.

In accordance with the law, titled: Introducing amendments and addenda to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on combating extremism, the Civil Procedural and Administrative codes were amended, as were the following laws: Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, Freedom of Public Associations, and Freedom of Political Parties.

Another law, titled: Introducing changes and amendments to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of national security criminalizes the financing of terrorist and extremist activities, and propagandizing terrorism and extremism.

The effects of the above legislation, in principle, should have alerted prospective members of banned organizations in this country, but in practice there has been a different picture.

14 terrorist and extremist organizations are known to be banned in Kazakhstan, including:

1. Al-Qaeda;

2. Asbat al-Ansar;

3. AumShinrikyo;

4. BozGurd;

5. TheMuslim Brotherhood;

6. TheJamaat Mujahedin of Central Asia;

7. TheIslamic Party of East Turkestan;

8. TheIslamic Movement of Uzbekistan;

9. TheKurdish People's Congress;

10. Lashkar-i-Taiba;

11. TheSocial Reform Society;

12. TheEastern Turkestan Liberation Organization;

13. Hizb-ut-Tahrir al-Islami;

14. TheTaliban.

The country has begun operational-tactical exercises involving representatives of various departments. Forexample, in 2006under the auspices of the Counter-terrorism Center there were several interagency operational and tactical exercises, such as: Pavlodar-2006 (in the Pavlodar region in May, 2006); Dabyl (in the Karaganda region in September, 2006).

Law enforcement agencies also conducted operational-preventive measures. Forexample, in 2006the KNB (Kazakh security agency) carried out an operation aimed at curbing the activities of a network of Hizb-ut-Tahrir cells located in various regions of the republic.

Seized during searches were more than 25,000 leaflets, about 700copies of extremist religious literature, as well as computers and printing equipment.

During a joint operation at the end of April of 2007, officers of the DVD(Kazakh interior ministry) and DKNB (district KNB) in the South Kazakhstan region disarmed and detained 13active supporters of an extremist group.

Seized during searches of the detained were improvised explosive devices, firearms, and extremist religious literature.

Against this background of emerging success in the fight against various terrorist and extremist organizations, however, a steady increase in the numbers adherents of these banned organizations has become noticeable in practically every area of the country.

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