WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing:
“Wanted: Foreign Fighters – The Escalating Threat of ISIL in Central Asia”
Wednesday, June 10
Rayburn House Office Building
Over the past several years, Central Asia has become an increasing source of foreign fighters for radical militant groups operating in the Middle East. According to data from the U.S. Counter-Terrorism Center, the Islamic State (ISIL) has already recruited hundreds of men from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and more than 1,000 men from Kazakhstan.
Extremist groups like ISIL actively target vulnerable young men, including unemployed guest workers facing deportation from Russia, with promises of generous salaries and support for fighters’ families. These alluring and aggressive recruiting tactics, along with declining economic prospects and repressive measures imposed by regional governments, pose serious threats to peace and security in Central Asia. This hearing will provide an opportunity to assess the growing influence of extremist militant groups in the region, and to explore how the United States can continue supporting efforts in Central Asia aimed at countering violent extremism and preventing the flow of foreign fighters to ISIL and other radical organizations.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Daniel N. Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia, U.S. Department of State
- Frank J. Cilluffo, Associate Vice President & Director, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, The George Washington University
- Jennifer Leonard, Deputy Director, International Crisis Group