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Head of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee suggests abandoning the term “Islamic State”

Nurtay Abykayev

On June 29, Astana hosted a regional conference of South and Central Asia on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). Head of the National Security Committee (NSC) of Kazakhstan Nurtay Abykayev addressed those present saying more than 150 citizens of Kazakhstan participate in the armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq. There are more than 200 wives, widows and children of militants with them. He called it necessary to “draw a single list of the terrorist organizations”; “impose sanctions on the countries supporting those organizations”; “establish a single procedure of removing extremist content from the web.” He suggested abandoning the term “Islamic State” that gives certain “gloss” of legitimacy to the organization, which is incorrect.

More than 3300 persons are included in the specialized database of the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center (ATC). They are on the wanted list over terrorist and extremist crimes, said Kanat Kozhakhmetov, the first deputy head of the CIS ATC.

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Masimov delivered a speech at the event, saying internet is the most popular method of the radicals to involve people into their organizations. “They use the web to propagate their destructive ideology, hatred and violence, to recruit and train militants, to transfer and exchange information, and to plan and coordinate crimes. ”

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“Just imagine that a post calling for armed jihad in popular social media – Facebook and WhatsApp – had over two million hits in 24 hours. Kazakhstan exposes and blocks such posts, but our efforts therein must be combined and consistent. The civil society must play a big role in preventing propaganda of extremism and terrorism,” he said.

Chief of the Security Council of Kazakhstan Nurlan Yermekbayev, in turn, said the world media must reconsider the principles of covering the activity of terrorists and extremists. “Sometimes mass media feature members of terrorist groupings the way they want to show themselves, i.e. as the so-called jihad fighters,” he said. As terrorists seek public statements and manifestation, mass media often help them by telling about their life, the circumstance of terror assaults etc. Therefore, it would be good if mass media analyzed and reconsidered the principles and the scales of covering the activity of extremists and terrorists,” Yermekbayev said.

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