Safety and Security
Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), al-Qaida, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement as well as anti-Western, anti-Semitic extremist organizations such as Hizb’ut-Tahrir have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government or private interests in the region, including in Tajikistan.
Terrorist attacks involving the use of suicide bombers have occurred in Tajikistan and in neighboring Uzbekistan. Minor explosions occasionally occur in Dushanbe and rarely cause serious injuries or damage. From time to time, the Tajik government conducts counter-terrorist operations in areas outside Dushanbe. In July 2012, Tajik military forces conducted operations in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakshan region in eastern Tajikistan, causing instability and disruptions for visitors and the local population. Although there have been rare instances of criminal or terrorist groups specifically targeting U.S. citizens or foreigners, you should take care to abide by government-imposed restricted areas. Additionally, insurgent activity in neighboring Afghanistan could also affect the security situation along the border and in Tajikistan. You should exercise extra caution if traveling in border provinces.
Because of increased security at official U.S. facilities, terrorists may seek softer civilian targets such as residential areas, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, hotels, outdoor recreation events, and other venues. The limited number of facilities catering to Westerners in Tajikistan presents a heightened risk. You should also avoid demonstrations and large crowds. Demonstrations and mobs are rare in Tajikistan since the 1992–1997 civil war, and police reaction to such behavior is unpredictable.