Jamestown Analyst Jacob Zenn Testifies Before Congressional Committee on Extremist Threats in Central Asia


Contact: Matthew Czekaj



Jamestown Foundation Analyst Jacob Zenn testified on February 27, 2013, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats on “Islamist Militant Threats to Eurasia.” In his testimony, Zenn defined the United States’ core interests in the region, described the various extremist militant groups threatening Central Asia, clarified the Taliban and al-Qaeda connection to these groups, highlighted the region’s most vulnerable areas, argued in favor of stronger US-Uzbekistani security cooperation to counter these threats, and laid out a series of policy revisions Washington should undertake to better deal with the Central Asian region, among other topics.

The full text of Jacob Zenn’s testimony on Militant Threats to Central Asia is available at: https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA14/20130227/100314/HHRG-113-FA14-Wstate-ZennJ-20130227.pdf

More information about the hearing is available at: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/joint-subcommittee-hearing-islamist-militant-threats-eurasia

*Attached is a compendium of The Jamestown Foundation’s articles on terrorism and Islamic radicalization in Central Asia published in 2012-2013.


Jacob Zenn is a Research Analyst of Eurasian and African Affairs for The Jamestown Foundation and an expert on Central Asian militant movements, including Jund al-Khilafa of Kazakhstan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Turkistan Islamic Party of Xinjiang, China, and Hizb ut-Tahrir in Central Asia. He has published on emerging militant threats to Central Asia for the The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor, Eurasia Daily Monitor and Militant Leadership Monitor, West Point CTC Sentinel, Johns Hopkins-SAIS Central Asia–Caucasus Analyst, and Asia Times. His field research in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon in June 2012 inspired his Occasional Report for The Jamestown Foundation, “Northern Nigeria’s Boko Haram: The Prize in al-Qaeda’s Africa Strategy.”

A Charter Member of the National Language Service Corps for fluency in Chinese, Arabic and Indonesian, he has worked and carried out field research in the five Central Asian countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, and studied Dari and Farsi languages at Samarkand State University in Uzbekistan, Uyghur and Uzbek languages at Xinjiang University in Urumqi, China, as well as Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Russian languages at the London School in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Mr. Zenn received a J.D. from Georgetown Law in 2011, where he was a Global Law Scholar, a graduate degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Center for Chinese-American Studies in 2007, and a B.A. in International Affairs from Emory University in 2005.

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Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, Eurasia and the world of terrorism. Jamestown produces three periodic publications: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Terrorism Monitor and China Brief. Jamestown research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.