Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 3 Issue: 19


Turkish authorities recently uncovered an active plot by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to acquire cellular phones for use in remote-controlled bomb explosions (Yeni Safak, May 8). The operation involved PKK operatives placing false employment advertisements in newspapers in order to gather identity information from job candidates (Yeni Safak, May 8). The identify information is then used to acquire mobile telephones using names not associated with PKK members. The PKK uses these unmarked phones in remote-controlled bomb explosions against Turkish government interests. Additionally, the PKK uses the cell phones for internal communication between operatives, making it more difficult for authorities to trace or listen in on communications (Yeni Safak, May 8). In light of the plot, Turkey’s Communications Ministry and Telecommunications Agency is changing the registration process for cellular phones, requiring new subscribers to register for an account in person (Yeni Safak, May 8).


Kyrgyz and Tajik authorities announced success in an operation against at least five militants who were involved in attacks on Tajik and Kyrgyz border posts on May 12 (RIA Novosti, May 15). According to initial reports, the attack began in Tajikistan’s northern Isfarin district at the Lakkan (Lyakkan) border post. At least two border guards were killed in the initial attack, and insurgents stole assault rifles and a machine gun (RIA Novosti, May 15). The insurgents then reportedly piled into a stolen vehicle after killing the driver, driving to Kyrgyzstan’s Batken region in the southern Ferghana Valley (RIA Novosti, May 15). They subsequently attacked the Putlon border post in Kyrgyzstan, killing another border guard. After ditching their vehicle, they walked in the direction of the mountains with their weapons. Tajik and Kyrgyz authorities tracked at least five of the militants early on May 13 in the Kyrgyz city of Sary-Taala, killing four and capturing one (AKI Press News Agency, May 13). According to authorities, the five militants were only one group out of two, and the second group of militants escaped. The motivation of the fighters was unclear, but some Tajik and Kyrgyz officials stated that the attackers were Islamist militants. After the failed uprising in Andijan on May 15, 2005, there is concern that the Ferghana Valley might erupt into violence (Terrorism Focus, April 18). In response to the incident, Kyrgyz and Tajik authorities announced that they would both reinforce their common border to prevent future attacks, possibly by militants from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 16).