Tajikistan Map

Bomb Scare in Isfara

Isfara, Tajikistan — Yesterday’s bomb scare in Isfara has derailed my efforts to meet with religious leaders and other local sources. With the city now crawling with officials from the Interior Ministry (MVD) and State Committee for National Security (SCNS), my contacts concluded that this was an inauspicious time to meet with Americans writing books…

IMU

Insights into the Khujand Bombing

Khujand, Tajikistan — Sources in Tajikistan’s second largest city offer conflicting motives for the suicide bombing that killed 25 people at a local Interior Ministry (MVD) station in September 2010. Officials say the perpetrator was wanted by police for kidnapping and other violent crimes. Others say he was a devout Muslim who sought revenge after…

Kofamikhon, Tajikistan. © Christopher Swift 2012

Turajonzoda Reflects on the IMU’s Origins

Kofamikhon, Tajikistan — Today I conducted a lengthy interview with Akhbar Turajonzoda, the former Qazi Qalon and Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan. Turajonzoda served as deputy commander of the United Tajik Opposition (UTO), a coalition of democratic and Islamist parties allied against President Rahmon’s post-Soviet regime. Turanjonzoda offered several interesting insights regarding the origins of…

Mountain Village, Central Tajikistan. © Christopher Swift 2012

Insights into the Rasht Insurgency

Dushanbe, Tajikistan – According to senior Tajik government advisors, the 2010 Rasht valley insurgency was led by Tajik militants who returned to Tajikistan after a long deployment with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Afghanistan. While the facts surrounding Rasht remain murky, they believe that the insurgents were part of a wider regional network…