[The professional soldiers of the IMU are the perfect instruments for the destabilization of all of the governments within its reach. Its terrorist exploits have provided many, if not most, of the stories of attacks that have been attributed since 2001 to the mythical “al-Qaeda.” It is only natural that its foot soldiers serve as the vanguard of the American military destabilization of Central Asia. The world is slowly waking-up to the fact of America’s historical use of paramilitary/guerrilla/terrorist groups to gain control of troubled, poor nations. Look at the thirty year history of American paramilitary destabilization of Afghanistan, or across the seas to Colombia/Central America, where paramilitary guerrilla forces have tormented the region for the same period of time. American “low-level conflicts” are the bane of mankind. The world must bring them to an end.]
A decade after its debut on the terrorist scene in the Pamirs, as the most aggressive groups in Central Asia, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has undergone a transformation in the hundreds of kilometers to the southeast, in the mountains of Pakistani-troubled region of Waziristan.
IMU is no longer a small group of fighters, concentrated on the overthrow of the Uzbek regime, and change its Islamic state. Today it has a much broader and more ambitious goals, and emphasizes its rebirth attacks, which indicate their presence in South and Central Asia.
In recent years, militants belonging to the IMU directly or its branches were related to a deadly explosion in Tajikistan and violence in the eastern Rasht Valley country. His name was also in connection with the terrorist plot, which were aimed at Europe. Experts say that the security forces faced with the elements of the IMU during the sweeps in southern Kyrgyzstan this month, and they see signs that the group is gaining momentum in Central Asia and creates a new safe haven in northern Afghanistan.
Few could have predicted this turn of the century.
From the ashes
After retiring from Central Asia to Afghanistan to join Taliban in their final effort against the Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Masood in 2000, almost all of IMU fighters were killed in the fight against the slave of U.S. forces in November 2001. From there, they have sought refuge across the border in the north-west Pakistan.
IMU is initially adhered to a relatively low profile in his new seekers, even when thousands of recruits from Central Asia began to strengthen an alliance with militant organizations such as al-Qaida, Pakistani Taliban and other Pakistani jihadi groups.
Shabkadara bombing in February 2008, agricultural area near Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pahtunkva made it clear that the IMU is once again became a force to be reckoned with.
Their goal is a secular Pashtun politician Afrasiab Khattak, survived the attack. But the 25 people who gathered to hear him were killed.
Khattak, who is today a senator and leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), said that the government investigation revealed that the attack was a suicide bomber IMU.Provincial government, which is under the leadership of ANP, later fought and captured many Central Asian militants in the Swat valley during the years of military operations in 2009, providing further evidence of the expansion of its role in Central Asia and Pakistan.
Khattak said that the IMU and its splinter groups, have deep ties to al-Qaeda and a large part of its foot soldiers who fought in the Federal Tribal Areas (FATA), the band Pashtun areas along Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan.
“Despite the fact that the leadership of al-Qaeda is made up of Arabs, personnel representatives of the IMU is the Central Asian countries. They include ethnic Uzbeks, Chechens and Muslims from the southern regions of Russia”, – said Khattak. “It’s not that, in their series [some number] of people who live here a long time. They attract new recruits [Central Asia]. Hence, they get back to northern Afghanistan, and from there take the attack in Central Asia” .
This will mean that the IMU is returned to its roots, though not in its original form.
In their ranks IMU no longer has any of its founders. This summer, the group acknowledged the death of one of its founders, Tahir Yuldash, a year after he died from injuries sustained when struck with a U.S. drone in South Waziristan. Usmon Odile was declared the new leader of the IMU, though there is no real confirmation of his identity.
Pakistani journalist and writer Ahmed Rashid said that the IMU can no longer be considered as one group, she gave birth to other groups with more aggressive and far-reaching plans.
“Some things seem to have occurred. First of all, they split,” – says Rashid. “There are several Central Asian groups, who seem to have formed due to the split the IMU, is the Islamic Jihad Union, [and] The Central Asian Taliban. We do not know exactly how these fragments were formed, but, probably due to Al-Qaeda for the sake of maintaining control over these groups. ”
IMU or any of its affiliates were involved in a number of recent attacks, both at home and abroad.
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), was charged in the attacks in Uzbekistan in May 2009 and appeared in the titles of publications around the world this fall, after Western intelligence agencies discovered that they were planning attacks in Europe in Mumbai style. More than 10 of its decision makers were subsequently killed in collision with an unmanned aircraft in North Waziristan. BWI is considered more radical branch of the IMU, which draws recruits from a thriving Turkish community in Germany and the Turkic peoples. Casters observers have suggested that they were motivated by pan-Turkic goals.
In September, a convoy of government troops was attacked in the eastern part of Tajikistan, killing 23 soldiers. Tajik authorities have been accused of attacking militants with ties to the IMU. In the same month, the first in the history of Tajikistan attack involving a suicide bomber, two suicide car bomber struck, killing one policeman and wounding 30 in an attack on a police station in the northern city of Khujand. Jamaat Ansarulla, a previously unknown group, which is now the Tajik authorities say a radical offshoot of the IMU, claimed responsibility for the attack.
During the operation to contain the threat of militants on its soil this year, Tajik authorities have stated that they had destroyed dozens of IMU militants, who were walking across the border from northern Afghanistan. In Afghanistan itself, a growing number of attacks have been attributed to the IMU.
Analyst on behalf of Rashid, who is a pioneer in the study of the IMU, said that even during the development of the group and its offshoots, their brand of defense of the Islamic Revolution supported by some Central Asian community.
Rashid notes that in May 2005 during the Andijan massacre, in which Uzbek troops opened fire on protesting against the government, there were conditions for a set of people in the IMU and the jihadist movement as a whole. The deaths of hundreds if not thousands, of civilians in the largest city in the Ferghana Valley, which stands at the intersection of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, has caused shock throughout the region. Then Rasheed says of the IMU, “was a great number of Central Asians who fled and went to join him” in the Pakistani tribal areas. ”
There, he says, “they fought for a lot of different people – Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani group. They have taken part in internal fighting in the tribal areas in Pakistan.”
This, he adds, “gave them a lot of experience.”
Does it trump the power of some of the city?
Retired Lt. Gen. Masood Aslam, who was commander of the IX Corps and Pakistani military operations conducted in Islamabad in the fight against terrorism in the north-west, agrees. He said that some Central Asians, are also in demand by various militant groups. ”
For Islamabad, the presence of fighters from Central Asia on its territory is a major irritant in its relations with Central Asian states. These States, whose markets are considered important for economic growth of Pakistan, fear that militants might struggle to extend their territory.
Regimes of Central Asia in the past have stood the raids IMU and other groups of jihadists. But nobody wants to face an enemy that has gained considerable combat experience.
“Whether it’s Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan – the press secretary of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari Fartulla Babar, talk about the issue of the prevailing military threat in its relations with Islamabad.”
Babar said that Islamabad is doing everything possible to eliminate the threat, but his hands are tied by complex borders and the rapid growth of criminal and economic systems in the region.
“The most important things that need to be considered are the control over the movement of militants and control over their finances,” – said Babar. “What’s finances them? We believe that the drug trade is the source of their funding. Thus, we believe that drug trafficking should be stopped and should be improved management of border control to the militants were isolated and were not able to move freely.”
Rashid said that the weakness of the states themselves, which increases the threat of the IMU and its offshoots.
“We have seen Tajikistan faces enormous poverty, the collapse of the public sector and mass migration,” – says Rashid. “Kyrgyzstan is under tremendous political upheaval. And Uzbekistan remains highly repressive, and there is no confidence in the future of these countries. They are very fragile, very vulnerable.”
December 8, 2010,