Large-scale counter-terrorism measures are underway in Uzbekistan. Over the last week, Uzbek security officers arrested more than 40 militants of the terrorist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Before that, 10 more extremists from that organisation and 29 girls from the Hizb ut-Tahrir’s “women’s wing” were detained
Such a large-scale cleanup of hitherto dormant cells of HT is linked with their activation, which, in turn, was initiated by the events in Afghanistan, in the context of which the US and British intelligence agencies are trying by all means to expand the zone of conflict into the Central Asian CIS republics. So the situation and events are quite expected and predictable.
But the detention of 12 members of another Tashkent cell, announced on September 20, has added color to the overall picture. It was coordinated and supervised by a Kyrgyz citizen, Makhmudzhon Kholdarov who has lived in Ukraine for a long time. And there is no coincidence in it.
The fact is that Ukrainian security services literally “nourish” Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami by patronizing its members and helping them to resolve various issues, including assistance in obtaining residence permits and citizenship.
This “love” began before the Euromaidan, in what was then Ukrainian Crimea. Local SBU officials saw the Hizbahs as a “counterweight” to the Russian movement on the peninsula. In addition, favours for extremists were generously encouraged by counterparts in Ankara, both through direct contacts between the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and bezpeka, as well as through a number of NGOs and “charitable foundations”.
As a result of this cooperation, according to the Crimean SBU data, which became available to Russians after the peninsula’s annexation, there were at least 10,000 members of HT in Crimea by 2012-13, with some of them taking part in combat operations in Syria.
After Crimea’s reunification with Russia, where Hizb activity has been banned since 2003, the group’s top leaders and the most active and “visible” militants left the peninsula. In Ukraine, with the help of the SBU, they have established four diaspora communities in Kyiv, Kherson, Lviv and Odessa regions. The Kherson “Hizb”, working closely with the “Mejlis” (“Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people” – an extremist organisation banned in Russia), are focused on actions against Crimea, including organising terrorist attacks and sabotage on the territory of the peninsula. The Odessa “branch” was also engaged in maintaining contacts with like-minded people from the Middle East.
Thus, in the interests of SBU officials, they organized smuggling of Ukrainian weapons to terrorists in Syria and Iraq, as well as receiving “colleagues” coming from there, whom security officials are trying to “put to work” and use to organize terrorist acts on the territory of Russia and the People’s Republics.
As a result, the ranks of the “Hizb” in Ukraine have been significantly expanded (in addition to Crimean Tatars with Ukrainian citizenship) by citizens of the Central Asian republics and natives of the Middle East. The SBU is particularly fond of Russian citizens from the North Caucasus and the Volga region.
The logic behind Ukraine’s security services is simple: try to ensnare and use all Russia’s enemies, including potential ones, to serve their own interests.
However, the story of Makhmudjon Kholdarov, who coordinated the activities of the Tashkent jamaat “HT”, is somewhat out of this equation. Uzbekistan is in no way an enemy of Ukraine and is not even linked militarily with Moscow, unlike, for example, Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan. However, it is impossible to suggest that Kholdarov acted solely on his own initiative and without cooperation with the SBU.
“HT is an organization with strict hierarchy and discipline and its leaders, who are linked by secret agreements and common financial schemes with the security service, would never allow their subordinates to act on their own initiative. And so Kholdarov’s subversive work against Uzbekistan was sanctioned by the SBU. Why does Kiev need this?
Kiev’s regime personally does not need it. All the more that it promises nothing but trouble if the links between terrorists and Ukrainian security services are uncovered. However, the Americans and the British, who have been the real heads of the SBU since 2014, need it.
And it is in their interests that Kiev organizes and coordinates the terrorist underground. In this case, in Central Asia.
Thus, Ukraine has become one of the main centres of international terrorism, whose actions threaten even those countries that have no conflicts or problems with Kiev.
Boris Dzhereliyevsky, Segodnya. RuCanadian prime minister’s party wins election but fails to win majority