On Security

Why an Attack by Grassroots Jihadists in Tajikistan Matters

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Aug 7, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A man signs a condolence book at the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, for the four bicyclists killed in a terrorist attack on July 29, 2018.

A man signs a condolence book at the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, for the four bicyclists killed in a terrorist attack on July 29, 2018. An American couple and Swiss and Dutch citizens were killed in the assault on a popular cycling route about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

For the group of seven international cyclists, the trip through breathtaking Tajikistan following a section of the ancient Silk Road was a dream come true. That dream turned into a nightmare July 29, when, in a deliberate act, a dark sedan smashed through the group. The men inside got out and attacked the cyclists with knives. Four of the tourists -- an American couple, a Swiss citizen and a Dutch national -- were killed; the others -- one Swiss, one Dutch and one French -- were injured. On July 30, the Islamic State claimed claimed responsibility for the assault through its Amaq news service. In a statement, it said the men "were soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries." On July 31, Amaq released a video that it claimed featured the five young Tajik attackers claiming...

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