After several years of relative peace in Central Asia and southern Russia, Islamic extremist movements have become more active in Russia and in Central and South Asia, threatening stability in the region. Although numerous factors might account for the upsurge in activity, several of these movements appear to have connections to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These linkages raise questions about whether the United States, as part of a broader effort to promote peace and stability in the region, should continue to engage the Taliban regime, or strongly confront it. This report will be updated as events warrant.
This report provides background regarding domestic terrorists — detailing what constitutes the domestic terrorism threat as suggested by publicly available U.S. government sources. It illustrates some of the key factors involved in assessing this threat and concludes by examining potential issues for Congress. This report does not discuss in detail either violent jihadist-inspired terrorism or the federal government's role in counterterrorism investigations.