National Security Service Deputy Chairman Tokon Mamytov and Interior Minister Bakirdin Subanbekov told the Kyrgyz parliament on 1 July that Islamist radicals pose a growing threat to Kyrgyzstan and its neighbors, KyrgyzInfo reported. According to Mamytov, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Party of Turkestan, the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir are all active in Kyrgyzstan. He also noted that Kyrgyz security services have recently received information about "Al-Qaeda attempts to use militants of these groups against Western diplomatic missions and military sites of the antiterrorism coalition in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan." Mamytov added, "The information that Islamic radicals acting in various parts of the region decided in 2003 to unite into a new clandestine organization, the Islamic Movement of Central Asia, is alarming for Kyrgyzstan." Subanbekov told lawmakers that Hizb ut-Tahrir in Kyrgyzstan has gained 1,800 new members over the last year, with most followers concentrated in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions.
KyrgyzInfo, July 01, 2004