An Investigation into Rising Tajik Islamic State Groups Recruiting Central Asians to Fight in Afghanistan
Tajik IS propagandists are using Telegram and Instagram to convince supporters to join ISKP
The Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) has been ramping up its efforts to recruit Central Asians both online and off. In the social media space, the group has leaned heavily on Telegram and has leveraged connected networks comprised of native speakers of regional languages.
In recent months, two interconnected groups have emerged which are geared toward convincing Tajiks to join the Islamic State and directing them to recruitment facilitators who arrange the logistics of their travel to Afghanistan to ultimately link up with ISKP elements.
What is especially interesting is that the broader Tajik/Russian sphere these groups seemingly grew out of has been largely focused on IS affairs in the Middle East and Tajikistan-related matters. But, increasingly, related actors are turning their focus to Afghanistan and the Islamic State Khurasan Province.
The groups are named “Mustaqim Khuroson” and “Mardi Maidon” and are connected to a larger Tajik/Russian Islamic State network that raises funds for IS families in Syrian detainment camps and for ISKP fighters. They are also linked to the Tajik pro-IS propaganda outlet Movarounnahr – its name refers to a swath of Central Asia located between the Amu-Darya and Sur-Darya rivers.