Chorqisloq, a village in a remote region in Tajikistan, is under strict observation of local police, security services and other agencies. 69 inhabitants have left for Syria in the past three years. Fear seems to reign among village residents and relatives of IS fighters are closely monitored by the security services. ''Nobody knows how they left, not even their own family members'' whispers a primary school teacher. Her colleague adds: "We can not talk about them".

According to a report from The Crisis Group in January 2015, between 2,000 and 4,000 Central Asians have joined Islamic State. An unknown number has been recruited during their stay as a labor migrant in Russia.

Why do people migrate to Russia en masse, how does the Islamic State recruit migrant workers in Russia and what role do the governments of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia play in the fight against radical Islam? 

Team members

Iris Oppelaar

I write about (and photograph) people, cultures and traditions that interest or amaze me. Or both. My stories and photographs mainly cover the countries of the Former Soviet Union with a particular focus on Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Russia. 
A working grant of € 7.558 allocated on 21/06/2016.

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