Thursday, January 15, 2015

All 3 were born in Kazakhstan

This week ISIS released a video of a child-soldier executing two people that (the video claims) were Russian spies. Among some of the circles that I run (at least online), the big deal was that the child soldier is a Kazakh boy, the same kid who previously appeared in another ISIS propaganda video.

Now it seems that both of the victims in the video also had Kazakhstan connections. Zhanbolat Mamaev is apparently from Merke (also spelled Merki), in Zhambyl Oblast. Most of my time in Kazakhstan was in Taraz, the capital of Zhambyl Oblast. Although, to the best of my knowledge, I never went to Merki region or town. The other victim, identified as Sergei Ashimov, was apparently born in Karaganda, but later moved to Russia.

Anyway, this stuff probably doesn't matter much to you. But it makes the video somehow closer and even more chilling for me.

On the other hand, it totally makes sense for the FSB to use Kazakhs or agents with Central Asian connections if they want to infiltrate a group like the Islamic State.