“The Return of Foreign Fighters from Conflict Zones: Kazakhstan’s Experience,” with Dr. Yerlan Karin

28 January, 2020 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Elliott School of International Affairs 1957 E St NW
DC 20052
As the Syrian conflict entered into the new stage, the return of foreign fighters to Central Asia became one the biggest security agenda. Kazakhstan faced up with the problem of the possible return of battle-experienced Kazakh nationals. Despite the growing concerns, the Kazakh government shaped its own counter-terrorism approach by launching humanitarian operation “Zhusan”. As a result, more than 600 people, mainly women, and children were repatriated back to Kazakhstan.

Dr. Yerlan Karin 

Advisor to the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Chairman of Kazakhstan Council on International Relations (KCIR)
Dr. Yerlan Karin is Advisor to the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Chairman of Kazakhstan Council on International Relations. He is leading international security and terrorism expert. His research focuses on Central Asian foreign fighters, China-Kazakhstan relations and regional security. He took part in recent Kazakhstani government “Zhusan” operation, which focused on repatriation of Kazakh families from the conflict zones in Syria. Between February 2017 and April 2019, Yerlan Karin served as the CEO of Kazakhstan Radio and Television Corporation, the largest national media company in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. During this period, he launched milestone joint projects with CCTV, Hunan TV, NHK and TRT channels. He was director of the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan from 2014-2017, and was decorated by the former President Nursultan Nazarbayev for his services to government. Currently, Dr. Karin serves on number of boards, including Expert Council under the Security Council of Kazakhstan, Public Board for ensuring the rule of law under the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan. He is Secretary of the National Public Trust Council of Kazakhstan. He is author of several books and documentary projects on foreign policy and security “Soldiers of Caliphate”, “Operation Zhusan”, “Central Asian Foreign Fighters: Between ISIS and Al-Qaeda”. He is often invited to speak at the Chatham House, RUSI, Carnegie Endowment, IFRI, Valdai Club, CICIR, JIIA and other think tanks. Dr. Karin is Honorary Professor at Shanghai University of International Studies.


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