US detainment at the Guantanamo military camp has received more than its share of abuse, especially from the BBC, as an affront to “international law”. However, deep within a story about the latest violence in Uzbekistan, the BBC itself shows that the Guantanamo policy has kept terrorism from spreading in Central Asia.
First, the report shows that the Uzbek secular dictatorship gets results in its battle with terrorism:
Uzbekistan says 20 suspected militants have blown themselves up during a fierce gun battle with special forces in the capital, Tashkent. … Witnesses said four armed militants entered a house, which was then surrounded by the security forces.
An interior ministry statement read out on television said 20 militants blew themselves up with home-made explosives after being surrounded. Three policemen were killed and five were injured.
Uzbek authorities blame a long-standing Islamic group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, for the violence, but its London representatives disavow any connection to terrorism or armed resistance. Another group, well-known throughout Central Asia, could also be the source of the violence, even though they have been quiet of late. The reason for their relative silence is that their leaders aren’t there any longer. Guess where they are?
Another group under suspicion is the home-grown Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The group initially aimed to overthrow Mr Karimov and replace his administration with a Muslim government, although in 2000 its objective changed to establishing a radical Islamist state across Central Asia.
The group’s leader Tahir Yuldashev is accused of orchestrating a series of deadly bomb attacks in Tashkent in 1999, one of which nearly killed Mr Karimov. However, Shahida Tulaganova of the BBC’s Central Asia Service says the group, which fought alongside the Taleban during the Afghan conflict, is now in tatters with many of its leaders being held by the US in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The IMU picked the losing horse in Afghanistan — probably believing a little too much of what they heard in the British and French press about the futility of armed action in Afghanistan — and got rounded up with the rest of the Islamofascists. Since they’re in Guantanamo, their organization has been unable to do much damage … which is exactly why we aren’t just releasing terrorists back into Central Asia.
It’s nice of the BBC to finally recognize this, even if they bury it at the bottom of their articles.