Showing posts with label Uzbekistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uzbekistan. Show all posts

Sunday, January 10, 2016

IMU in Afghanistan

Map of Uzbekistan (CIA) 
"The 2015 fall of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a Central Asian jihadi movement that has long fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, highlights the impact of two fundamental shifts in the jihadi landscape during 2015. Mobilized by the Afghan Taliban's two-year-long deception over the death of the Taliban's enigmatic and magnetic former leader, Mullah Omar, the IMU responded to the Islamic State's (IS) attempts to create a foothold in Afghanistan".
Read more in "2015 Restrospective: How the Fall of the IMU Reveals the Limits of IS' Expansion", by Margaret Foster, INSITE Blog on Terrorism & Extremism, January 4, 2016.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Central Asia and Islam

The nation of Uzbekistan - located along the northern border of Afghanistan - is confronting the rising threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Uzbekistan offers insights into secular Islam within Central Asia and the legacy of Soviet influence. This country is often overlooked by the western world as the focus is on events happening in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa and other areas of the globe. However, in light of the rising threat of Islamic fundamentalism, it may be useful to take a closer look at Uzbekistan. In addition, the Afghan conflict - which sees the activities of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) firmly entrenched in northern Afghanistan - may continue to spill over into Uzbekistan. This country offers a glimpse of what a secular Islamist state could look like - as well as the way in which religious repression will sometimes lead to extremism, violence, and state instability. Read more in "Central Asia: Can Secular Islam Survive?"The Diplomat, April 10, 2015.

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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Germany and Uzbekistan Base Negotiations

Uzbekistan is squeezing Germany hard for allowing the use of the Termez Air Base in Uzbekistan. Germany uses the base as a transit point for personnel and equipment going into and out of Afghanistan; principally Camp Marmal located just outside the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Germany has committed itself to participation in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan that begins in January 2015. One would think that Uzbekistan would be interested in a secure Afghanistan especially in light of the threat that the IMU poses to its southern border but . . . not so much. Looks like the bank account balance is the driving issue for Uzbekistan; and they will worry about that jihad thing later. Read more in "Helicopter Crash Complicates Germany-Uzbekistan Base Negotiations", The Bug Pit (, October 28, 2014.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Uzbekistan to be Confronted by IMU after 2014

Many Central Asian observers fear that the 'stans - in particular Uzbekistan - will be at risk after the U.S. and other Western nations pull out completely in Afghanistan. The general consensus is that the Taliban will still control significant areas in eastern and southern Afghanistan. The insurgent sanctuaries offered by Pakistan will still exist. Insurgent groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or IMU will grow stronger and resume their insurgent fight in Uzbekistan. Read more on this topic in "After the Afghan Pullout, the Dangers for Central Asia", Radio Free Europe, February 17, 2013.