Analysis and comments
Content of this section is a personal opinion of the author and does not reflect RATS SCO position.
In June, in the Idlib de-escalation zone, the ceasefire regime established with the participation of Russia and Turkey from March 6, 2020 was still formally in force.
In exchange for Islamabad's refusal to allow US military bases in Pakistan, national authorities demand that the leaders of the radical Islamist Taliban movement (banned in Russia) curb the Pakistani wing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In the context of the rapid expansion of the Taliban's influence in Afghanistan, with most of the country's territory falling under their control, it is unclear whether the Quetta-based militant leadership will leave Pakistan and return to Afghanistan. Presently, there are several factors due to which the Taliban leaders may refrain from doing this in the foreseeable future.
The organizer of the recent terrorist attack in the Pakistani city of Lahore is an Indian citizen with connections to Indian Foreign Intelligence R&AW (Research and Analysis Wing), Pakistani National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said on July 4, according to PTI news agency.
Two weeks before the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban seized a key section of the Tajik border, the Sher Khan Bandar border crossing. The threat of the spill-over of terrorism onto the territory of Central Asian countries has grown significantly.
According to Afghan media reports, the Taliban have seized more than 30 districts in the past two months. Those are in the provinces of Jawzjan, Faryab, Herat, Ghor, Farah, Badghis, Sari-Pul, Baghlan, Takhar, Balkh, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Urugzan, Nuristan, Badakhshan, Ghazni, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Lagman, and Kunduz.
PLAYING WITH EMOTIONS OR HOW RECRUITERS OF DESTRUCTIVE RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS LURE WOMEN IN THEIR NETWORKS
The Department of Religious Affairs of the city of Almaty shared information about how recruiters work with the “fair sex”.
What makes a woman different from a man? First, it is her emotionality, sensitivity, and romanticism. It is these qualities that adherents of destructive religious movements often seek to exploit when they lure new victims into their networks. According to the Senior Lecturer of the Department of Religious Studies and Culturology of Kazakhstan Al-Farabi National University PhD Zhanna Kantarbayeva, there are four main tentative plots used by recruiters to work with women.
No. 1. Loneliness.
The “fair sex” tolerates loneliness much worse than men. When a woman or girl feels her family or even her friends do not understand her, she withdraws into herself. Sometimes this can even lead to depression, but, unfortunately, in Kazakhstan, the practice of going to a psychologist is not so popular, so women try to look for help almost anywhere, just not from professionals. And at this point recruiters can enter the scene, surrounding her with pseudo-love, give her false hopes, the illusion of understanding and acceptance. Recruiters can work by registering on women's forums where women discuss such issues as depression and lack of understanding. They promise to help, but in fact they only lure the unfortunate women into an even darker pit.
A 32-year-old Nadezhda from Almaty almost became an adherent of one of the neo-Christian movements, precisely when she was depressed after losing a loved one.
“I just didn't know what to do with myself then,” she says. - I spent a lot of time on the Internet, talked to people in a similar situation, but for some reason I was not even thinking of going to a psychologist. And then on one of the websites I started a conversation with a woman who invited me to attend their meeting, at first rather gently, and then more and more insistently, saying they specialized in my issue. Fortunately, a good friend stopped me just in time. But those who are completely alone may not be so lucky.”
No. 2. Love.
Very often, representatives of destructive religious movements use various dating sites and applications. Moreover, they usually use a secular image there that has nothing to do with any religious topic. They use seduction techniques, psychological tricks, so that a girl or woman first becomes interested, then falls in love, and then completely surrenders. They masterfully win her trust, and at a certain stage she stops listening to others, and any ideology that the representative of a destructive religious movement imposes on her is seen as an immutable truth.
“I was 18 when I met a 20-year-old guy in Badoo. He was completely different,” says Mira, a 20-year-old woman from Almaty. - He simply charmed me with his politeness, courtesy, constant attention and compliments. At some point, I realized that I would do anything for him; I abandoned my parents and sisters, joined a destructive religious movement and started wearing hijab. It is fortunate that we did not have time to commit niqab, and my father (he adheres to traditional Islam) managed to make me listen to him. And this boyfriend kept stalking me for a long time, saying that I had betrayed the faith. I had to block him everywhere and change my phone number as well.”
No. 3. Compassion.
A woman is softer by nature, and it is sometimes very easy to make her pity you, or to evoke feelings of compassion or guilt. This aspect is also very often used by adherents of destructive currents. When dealing with women, they begin to talk about the desecration of Islam, about offending God or the feelings of true believers, and complaining about lack of understanding on the part of society. A woman is inclined to pity and support, and many are tricked like this; moreover, then they become such fierce adherents of those currents that they even engage other men. So, this is not always about women being weak. Sometimes, on the contrary, they become stronger and strive to protect men from the harmful influence of “infidels” and lead them to the supposedly true faith.
No. 4. Limited social circle.
Very often, housewives and unemployed women fall under the pernicious influence of adherents of radical religious movements. They are not alone, they have a family, but their social circle is very narrow. Every day they do the same chores, and if you add to this the poor behavior of the children, reproaches from the husband or, say, the mother-in-law, then the women become more and more vulnerable to radicals. Such a woman easily enters the circle where she is “supported and understood.” The most terrible and sad thing in such a situation is that it is very difficult for a woman to return to a normal life and traditional religion; moreover, she also begins to engage her children in a neo-Christian or neo-Islamic movement. And the trust of children in their mother is endless.
From the above, it is obvious that women, due to their emotional susceptibility, can fall under the influence of destructive religious movements. Thus, it is very important to be attentive to them in order to see the slightest personality changes and try and prevent aggravation.
The hypothetical scenario of the merger of the two most important and claiming world domination Islamist-jihadist organizations Al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (both banned in the Russian Federation) is rarely discussed among extremism researchers. In this regard, an article by a lecturer at the Federal University of Applied Sciences (Lübeck, Germany) Dr. Christian Herrmann poses particular interest. He emphasizes that such a scenario will be very important, since it will significantly aggravate the dangerous situation for Western countries.
Last week, hostilities would not stop, and government forces lost control over a number of districts: according to sources, over the past two months, the Taliban captured 17 districts, eight of them captured just in the last week, and they are not going to stop. The government calls this a “tactical retreat” and a security strategy, but parliament has already criticized this approach.
In Uzbekistan, more and more young people are falling under the influence of Islamist recruiters. Interestingly, the main ideologues of radical Islam in the Uzbek-speaking Internet space live mainly in Ukraine or Turkey. This is what expert from Uzbekistan, director of the Center for the Study of Regional Threats Viktor Mikhailov told EADaily.
In recent weeks, a number of accusations have been voiced, stating that the governments of both Qatar and Turkey actively supported Jabhat Fatah al-Sham terrorist group (formerly Jebhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia). In one case, Qatar had allegedly used Turkish banks to send funds to a group put on the list of terrorist organizations in many countries, including the United States, says the Cyprus Mail newspaper.