According to a CBS news report Al Qaeda has moved into the former Soviet Union in order to recruit children for their cause. The terrorist organization is estimated to have recruited a few hundred children, mostly from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, CBS's source has said.
"'The effort to recruit young boys for the cause has been extended to central Asia. We have reports that this effort may now be up to two years old,' said one senior Middle Eastern security official who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity. "
If this report is true, the likely result is increased cooperation between the US, NATO, Russia with Central Asian dictators to combat terrorism. It wouldn't be surprising if China got more involved either. Russia will be especially forthcoming in military aid as Al Qaeda makes in roads into their 'backyard'.
In the long run, recruiting children in Central Asia will probably be a PR defeat for AQ in Central Asia as Central Asian Muslims are generally more moderate than their Afghan coreligionists. Hopefully, the collective disgust of recruiting child-terrorists will translate into communities working together to eject AQ from Central Asia. I'm curious to know how Uzbeks and Tajiks on the street will react/are reacting to this news.
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