About the Series
ICPVTR’s 2022 webinar series focusing on the topic of radicalisation and diasporas explores the question of how and why small segments within transnational diasporas in various contexts – Southeast, South and Central Asia, in particular – have been exposed to the risk of radicalisation in recent years. Through this series, ICPVTR hopes to deepen scholarly understanding on migrants’ path to radicalisation, the facilitation networks that support the flow of people and ideas, and the programmes developed to manage them.
Violent Islamist extremist ideas have been gaining a foothold in small segments of Central Asian migrants living abroad, which has translated, in some cases, to terrorist attacks and support for militant groups. Since 2016, radicalised Central Asian immigrants have been implicated in terrorism related activities in countries such as Germany, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. Such involvement was often linked to Central Asian or other militant groups fighting in Syria or Afghanistan. What is striking is that many of the individuals involved are reported subsequently to have worked as economic migrants outside Central Asia during their period of radicalisation. This webinar will focus on this particular aspect of the process in trying to understand how their experience as economic migrants or members of the Central Asian diaspora impacted the factors, vulnerabilities, and grievances that have exposed them to extremist ideologies and, in some cases, lead them to commit violence.
Professor Magnus Ranstorp is Research Director at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish Defense University & Quality Manager of the EU Radicalization Awareness Network – Centre of Excellence (RAN CoE). Previously, he developed the world-renowned Centre for the Study of Terrorism & Political Violence at the University of St Andrews. Professor Magnus has been researching counterterrorism and CVE issues for almost thirty years. He was the first author to seriously map out Lebanese Hizbollah movement and its connection to international terrorism and relationship with Iran and Syria. Before and after 9/11, he was consultant for CNN on terrorism issues. He was also invited to testify in the 9/11 Commission in its First Hearing in 2003. Professor Magnus has worked extensively on the issue of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and his most recent publication on Swedish Foreign Fighters is based on a dataset of 267 FTFs out of 300 Swedish FTFs, data obtained from the Swedish Security Service. In 2017 he also co-authored EU RAN Manual on Responding to Returning FTFs and their Families. In 2018 he published an extensive report on salafism and salafi-jihadism in Sweden.
Ms Indira Aslanova is an assistant professor at the UNESCO Chair of World Culture and Religions at the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University (KRSU) and a Learning Specialist at Search for Common Ground. Indira is a co-founder of the Research Center for Religious Studies in Kyrgyzstan. With an educational background in Religious Studies, she is an experienced analyst, trainer, and consultant in the areas of intra- and inter-religious communications, freedom of religion or belief, violent extremism and terrorism, and state-church relations. Indira previously served as an expert consultant in the areas of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), CVE, rehabilitation and reintegration of VE prisoners for UNODC, UNDP, OSCE, The Oslo Center for Human Rights, and in a number of state institutions and NGOs in Kyrgyzstan.