Thursday, November 13, 2014

IMU - Alive and Well and Desirable

The Uzbeks from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) have acquired a reputation as experienced bomb makers in Afghanistan and in Pakistan's tribal areas. Since Uzbekistan has a high literacy rate they are able to read manuals on mixing explosives and constructing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). In addition, again the literacy thing, they can understand and utilize the Internet to provide propaganda on websites and through social media, exchange information (covertly), and gather intelligence (using OSINT or Open Source Intelligence techniques). While the IMU in northern and northeastern Afghanistan were hit hard in 'night raids' by the U.S. and ISAF special operations forces the past few years, the pressure has diminished a bit due to the draw down of conventional and SOF from Afghanistan. The ANA and ANP special operations units (ANASF, Commandos, CRU 222, PSUs, etc.) are capable but there are not enough of them and the ANSF intelligence structure is still in its infancy. Thus the IMU are starting to re-establish themselves once again. The members of the IMU are not only active in northern Afghanistan and western Pakistan; they are found as members of other insurgent groups in Central Asia. In addition, a significant number of Central Asians (members of IMU among them) can be found fighting with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Read more in "Central Asia's Desirable Militants", Radio Free Europe, November 6, 2014.

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