Suicides in Kazakhstan: Possibly Terrorist Acts?

Chas Morrison, Botagoz Rakisheva

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter examines the four suicide acts that took place in Kazakhstan in 2011, in Aktobe, Astana, Atyrau and Taraz. The events are considered in chronological order. Polling of experts, a survey and cultural considerations are used to shed light on whether these acts were tactics in terrorist efforts. The use of political suicide tactics is a new phenomenon for Kazakhstan. There are a variety of causal factors linked to it, including the high unemployment rate, socio-economic challenges, lack of opportunities for young people, and the growing impact of radical ideologies such as Salafism. These suicide acts are connected primarily in timing to the spread of religious extremism. The wide dissemination of Salafism and other radical offshoots of Islam in Kazakhstan has been caused by a mixture of factors. Often, these causal factors influence each other, and analyzing them separately does not give an objective picture of the current religious environment in Kazakhstan. The information is quite sparse, but it is clear that these phenomena should be carefully monitored for future developments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConflict, Violence, Terrorism, and Their Prevention
    EditorsJ. Martin Ramirez, Chas Morrison, Arthur J. Kendall
    Place of PublicationNewcastle-upon-Tyne
    PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9781443853477
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Kazakhstan
    • Salafism
    • Ethnic and religious identity
    • Suicide acts


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