Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Is ISIL Recruiting their future 'NHS' Doctors From Uzbekistan?

Is ISIL Recruiting their future 'NHS' Doctors From Uzbekistan? (Rferl).By Joanna Paraszczuk

The Islamic State (IS) militant group is recruiting "specialists" -- including doctors and engineers -- from Uzbekistan, according to Khusan Mamurov, an analyst with Uzbekistan's National Security Service (SNB).

Most recruited by IS are not fighters, Mamurov was quoted in local media on September 4 as saying. Instead, the group is interested in recruiting those who can help it build a state, such as doctors, teachers, electricians, and even cooks.

Mamurov claimed that IS was promising such individuals "from $20,000-$30,000" to bring their families to IS-controlled territory, according to the 12news.uz website.

The SNB analyst estimated that 500-600 people from Uzbekistan are fighting alongside IS. "But we do not have any reliable data on the number of Uzbek citizens who have moved into the area controlled by IS," Mamurov added.

Mamurov's claims are interesting for a number of reasons.

He is suggesting for what appears to be the first time that the number of Uzbeks who have joined IS in Syria and Iraq could be higher than current estimates because those do not take into account recruits who are not fighters.

There is plenty of evidence that IS is attempting to recruit medical professionals, not just from Uzbekistan but from all over the world.

In April, Adam al-Almany, a Chechen militant fighting alongside IS, put out a call on social media asking men and women with medical education to join a "medical battalion" in Syria.

Almany's call for doctors coincided with an IS video in which English-speaking physicians urged medical professionals to move to IS-controlled areas. The video featured Australian pediatrician Tareq Kamleh, 29, and an English-speaking physiotherapist named Abu Muqatil al-Hindi. Read the full story here.

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