Source: BBC News
Sayfullo Saipov, who killed eight people in a truck attack in New York, did it “in the name of” so-called Islamic State, a police spokesman has said. Mr Saipov is from Uzbekistan, a Central Asian state whose citizens have been involved in several major terror attacks lately. What is behind this?
Uzbeks were involved in the following major attacks:
- 1 January: A shooting at a nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39 people
- 3 April: A bomb at a metro station in St Petersburg that killed 14 people – carried out by an ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan
- 7 April: A truck attack on a street in Stockholm that killed four people
These attacks have led many people to view Uzbekistan as a hotbed of radical Islamism. As evidence, they use the example of Uzbek fighters who have joined militants in Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.
Indeed, there is a relatively large group of fighters from Uzbekistan in those countries. According to estimates from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, 500 Uzbek citizens had travelled to join militants in Syria and Iraq by 2015.