Syria Calling: Migration, Mobilization and the Transformation of the Central Asian Jihad

23 February, 2015 @ 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Conference Room 505
1957 E Street
NW, Washington
DC 20052

with Eileen O’Connor, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs

and Noah Tucker,

Key points:
 Perhaps surprisingly, ISIS appears to be weak in its resources for online recruit-ing in Central Asian languages, but benefits disproportionately and in some un-intended ways from this resentment because of the ubiquity of its brand. Theevidence available through social media research conducted by this projectwould support and argument that there are several hundred Uzbek militantsparticipating in ISIS, but not larger numbers recently suggested by other report-
ing and Central Asian security services.
 Central Asians who support or are interested in ISIL appear to mostly be youngmigrant laborers who have little or no background in Islam as a religion butembrace Islam as an identity that offers solidarity, a sense of belonging and anexplanation for economic hardship and discrimination that they experience.
 Much of the discourse inside especially ISIS sympathizer circles among migrantlaborers in Russia builds not on religion, but resentment – and a resentmentstoked by the uniquely toxic media environment that has developed on Russia-based social networks filled with false information. 
This discussion is off the record.
This event is co-sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science  (POMEPS) at the George Washington University. 
Please RSVP

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