AP: Uzbek Terrorist Leader Wants Islamic State and Caliphate
KORASUV, Uzbekistan (AP) Confirming what President Karimov has
charged the rebels with, the leader of a group of rebels claiming to
control this Uzbek border town said Wednesday that he and his
supporters intend to build an Islamic state and were ready to fight
if government troops attempt to crush their revolt.
"We will be building an Islamic state here in accordance with the
Quran," Bakhtiyor Rakhimov told The Associated Press while leaning
down from the back of a horse.
"We will be building an Islamic state
accordance with the Quran," "All decisions will be taken by people at
a mosque. There will be rule of Shariah law," "If Soldiers and police
come and attack us we will fight even with knives."
Rakhimov, Uzbek Islamist Terrorist leader
photo credits: BBC
Tense but confident, the bearded 42-year-old Islamic terrorist,
wearing a traditional Uzbek embroidered black-and-white skull cup,
snapped his fingers as he gave orders to an assistant. It was unclear
how many people he commanded, but there was no sign of any Uzbek
government officials in the town of about 20,000.
"The town is in the hands of our people (the Islamists)" he said as
he kept an eye on two roads converging at an intersection in Korasuv.
However, Uzbek Interior Minister Zakir Almatov shrugged off the
"It's all sheer nonsense, everything is normal there," he said when
asked whether the government intends to move against insurgents in
Korasuv. "If anything had happened there, I already would have been
The uprising in Korasuv began Saturday, a day after government troops
violently crushed an uprising in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan.
Protesters in Korasuv, 20 miles from Andijan, set fire to a police
headquarters, a tax police office and several traffic police posts,
and they looted several other government buildings. They also beat up
several police officers and local officials, forcing them to flee the
President Islam Karimov blamed the unrest in Andijan on extremist
Islamic groups that seek to overthrow his secular government and
create an Islamic state.
Observers of the impoverished Central Asia region have long feared
that any social unrest could be used by Islamic groups to promote
their own goals.
Karimov's government has been struggling with fundamentalist Islamic
groups since the nation of 25 million gained independence with the
1991 Soviet collapse. Many see the rapid spread of radical Islam that
initially emerged here as a backlash from Karimov's heavy-handed
crackdown on Islamists, which has swept up many innocent Muslims.
Desperately poor and jobless youth who have become an easy target for
recruitment by Islamic groups.
The terrorist leader Rakhimov presented an idealistic view of the
future in an Islamic state.
"We will turn this land into paradise as desribed in the Quran,"
and "it will spread further" he went on, reflecting one of the
central ideas of most radical Islamic groups active in the region:
the creation of a worldwide Islamic state - the Khilafah of Caliphate
where non-Muslim would be forced to embrace Islam or be relgated to a
Slave status as Dhimmis.
"All decisions will be taken by people at a mosque. There will be
rule of Shariah law," Rakhimov went on. "Thieves and other criminals
will be tried by the people themselves."
Among the groups that promote such ideas, the one that probably has
the most followers in formerly Soviet Central Asia is the Hizb-ut-
Tarir party, which Uzbek authorities accuse of inspiring a series of
terror attacks in the capital Tashkent and the central city of
Bukhara last year that killed more than 50. Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which
claims to reject violence, denied responsibility.
Rakhimov said he and his supporters did not belong to any specific
"We are just people," he said. "We just follow the Quran."
Asked if he was afraid that government soldiers would try to regain
control of Korasuv by force, as they did in Andijan, he said: "They
came here today, a few military people. I turned them back."
"It's the Shahadat (martyrdom) of those mujahids (holy warriors) who
were killed in Andijan that protects us," said his assistant Arab-
"We will deal with Karimov," Rakhimov said.
"If Soldiers and police come and attack us we will fight even with
knives," he said.
Story Credits:Bagila Bukharbayeva writing in the Guardian
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