Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Brief History of the IMU

From everything that I am reading, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has become a real player in the global jihad arena. I will provide a more in-depth analyis of the IMU later, but the Longwar Journal provides a nice synopsis of the group:

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is based in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan, and primarily operates along the Afghan-Pakistani border and in northern Afghanistan. According to one estimate, more than 3,000 Uzbeks and other Central Asian fighters are sheltering in North Waziristan.

Since Sept. 1, the US has ramped up airstrikes against the terror groups in North Waziristan, with 21 strikes that month and three more already this month. The IMU's former leader, Tahir Yuldashev, was killed in a US Predator airstrike in South Waziristan in September 2009. Yuldashev sat on al Qaeda's top council, the Shura Majlis. He has been replaced by Abu Usman Adil.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan fighters often serve as bodyguards to top Pakistani Taliban leaders. The IMU fights alongside the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In northern Afghanistan, the IMU has integrated its operations with the Taliban, and senior leaders serve as members of the Taliban's shadow government [see LWJ report, Coalition continues pursuit of IMU commanders in the Afghan north].

Tajikistan has seen an uptick in attacks from Islamist terror groups since the summer of 2009. [See LWJ report, Al Qaeda-linked IMU claims deadly ambush on Tajik troops.] In late spring of that year, NATO opened a supply line from Tajikistan into northern Afghanistan after the Taliban and allied groups heavily targeted the main NATO route from Pakistan.


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