U.S. Fight Against Islamist Terror Moves to Airwaves

U.S. Fight Against Islamist Terror Moves to Airwaves by Jessica Donati and Nathan Hodge – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. government is testing new strategies to counter Islamic State propaganda in Central Asia, a fertile recruiting ground for militant groups and birthplace of the suspect who attacked New York last month.

A new campaign by the U.S.-funded media outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that is intended to dent Islamic State recruitment in Central Asia is set to kick off in January. It will include local language broadcasts featuring repentant foreign fighters, widows, and parents that have lost children in Syria and Iraq.

That joins an expanding U.S. Agency for International Development pilot program that aims to give struggling migrant workers alternatives to joining militant groups.

Such efforts have taken on fresh urgency following the Oct. 31 attack in New York that killed eight people. The suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, is an immigrant from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a country that has been a major source of Islamic State recruits.

Far from the center of the Arab world, former states of the defunct Soviet Union didn’t used to be big contributors to jihadist movements in the Middle East.

But in recent years, migrants from former Soviet republics have been a focal point of Islamic State recruitment in Syria and Afghanistan, with more than 8,700 joining the group, according to an October report by the Soufan Group, a security-consulting firm headed by a former Federal Bureau of Investigation official…

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