Overview: The Government of Kazakhstan passed new counterterrorism legislation and continued to develop its national program for countering terrorism and what it refers to as religious extremism, with efforts to establish new interagency counterterrorism bodies at the national, regional, and local levels. The national program outlines the responsibilities of each government agency and ministry to prevent and/or respond to acts of terrorism, with a strong focus on social and educational programs that are intended to form a zero-tolerance approach for citizens, especially youth, against the influence of terrorist or extremist ideas.
The Government of Kazakhstan has expressed an interest in increasing counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, particularly in the areas of information sharing and law enforcement cooperation, and in the development of Kazakhstani capability to conduct special counterterrorism operations.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Kazakhstani legislation criminalizes terrorist acts and extremist вЂњpropaganda.вЂќ New legislation adds the forfeiture of property to the potential sentences for all terrorism-related crimes.
In January, President Nursultan Nazarbayev approved changes and amendments to KazakhstanвЂ™s existing counterterrorism legislation that provided new definitions for several legal terms relating to terrorism and violent extremism, assigned counterterrorism roles and responsibilities to 26 government agencies, and created a framework for the governmentвЂ™s national counterterrorism program, including the establishment of national, regional, and local counterterrorism centers. The governmentвЂ™s ambitious new counterterrorism plan envisions extensive interagency cooperation and coordination, but cooperation, coordination, and information-sharing are limited in practice and certain government agencies dominate counterterrorism operations. There are four special counterterrorism detachments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and one under the National Security Committee. The new state program for law enforcement development provides for the creation of new counterterrorist detachments and enhanced training for such units.