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Islamic Jihad Union;
AKA Islamic Jihad Group;
AKA Jama'at al-Jihad;
AKA The Libyan Society;
AKA The Kazakh Jama'at;
AKA The Jamaat Mojahedin;
AKA Jamiyat;
AKA Jamiat al-Jihad al-Islami;
AKA Dzhamaat Modzhakhedov;
AKA Islamic Jihad Group of Uzbekistan;
AKA al-Djihad al-Islami;
AKA Islomiy Jihod Ittihodi;
AKA Ittihad al-Jihad al-Islami

The Islamic Jihad Union was founded by breakaway fighters from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in March 2002 in Pakistans Tribal Areas. The organization became closely involved with al-Qaida. The group opposes Western influences as well as secular rule in Uzbekistan, and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on Islamic law.

The IJU, which is committed to toppling the government in Uzbekistan, conducted two attacks there in 2004 and one in 2009. The IJU is also active in Afghanistan, where the group operates alongside the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network. The group has had particular success in recruiting German nationals and achieved international notoriety following the 2007 disruption of an IJU plot by the so-called Sauerland Cell to attack various targets in Germany.

The government has used the existence of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) and Akromiya Uzbekistan to justify government repression, which has resulted in as many as 10,000 religious prisoners of conscience by current estimates. Though Uzbekistan has been the target of terrorist or insurgent violence several times in the past two decades, after each episode the government exaggerated the threat and responded disproportionately or with excessive force.

Shortly after the IMU sought refuge in South Waziristan, they were further degraded by a split in the movement which resulted in the formation of a new organization called the Islamic Jihad Group, or later the Islomiy Jihod Ittihodi: the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). One of the most important differences between the groups initially was their choice of tactics. Unlike Namanganis traditional guerilla warfare operations developed in the Tajik Civil War, the IJU adopted methods and targets more closely in line with the Transnational Salafi Jihad (TSJ) movement.

Uzbekistan experienced a wave of terrorist violence in 2004. In July 2004 there were three suicide bombings in Tashkent, including one outside the U.S. Embassy. The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The IJU also used suicide bombers in multiple attacks focused on police and Uzbek private and commercial facilities in Tashkent and Bukhara in late March and early April 2004. In May 2005, armed militants stormed a prison in Andijon, released its prisoners, and then took control of the regional administration and other government buildings in Andijon Province. Fighting broke out between government forces and the militants, and reports indicated that several hundred civilians died in the ensuing violence.

The US State Department in June 2005 designated the IJU a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.

The US Government continued to receive information that indicates terrorist groups may be planning attacks, possibly against U.S. interests, in Uzbekistan. Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the region. Members of these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S. Government interests in the past, including the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, and may attempt to target U.S. Government or private American interests in Uzbekistan. In the past, these groups have conducted kidnappings, assassinations, and suicide bombings.

On 06 February 2012 the US Department of the Treasury designated Iran-based Islamic Jihad Union facilitator Olimzhon Adkhamovich Sadikov (also known as Jafar al-Uzbeki and Jafar Muidinov) for acting for on behalf of and providing support to al-Qaida. This action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, follows Treasurys designations in July 2011 of Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil (also known as Yasin al-Suri) and October 2012 of Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi, two al-Qaida officials who served as the head and deputy of al-Qaida's Iran network, respectively. The State Department also authorized rewards totaling $17 million for information leading to the locations of al-Suri and al-Harbi, and additionally offered $10 million in October 2012 for information leading to the location of Muhsin al-Fadhli, who previously led the Iran-based al-Qaida network, and was designated by Treasury and the United Nations in February 2005.

Jafar al-Uzbeki is a member of the Islamic Jihad Union and provides logistical support and funding to al-Qaida's Iran-based network. As an associate of designated al-Qaida facilitator Yasin al-Suri, al-Uzbeki serves as a key extremist smuggler based in Mashhad, Iran, near the country's border with Afghanistan, and has provided visas and passports to numerous foreign fighters, including al-Qa'ida recruits, to facilitate their travel. Al-Uzbeki has assisted extremists and operatives transiting Iran on their way into and out of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Al-Uzbeki has also provided funding to al-Suri, who has resumed leadership of al-Qaida's Iran-based network after being temporarily detained there in late 2011.

The US intelligence community assesses that the IJU is allied with al-Qaida and maintains a small presence in Pakistan, where the group claims to play an active role in guerilla warfare operations against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. In recent years, US federal prosecutors have linked the IJU to several ethnic Uzbek refugees arrested inside the United States, notably in Colorado and Idaho. Evidence made publicly available indicates these suspects allegedly self-radicalized, and contacted the group individually through its website. In both cases the suspects received no tactical or material support in response.

By 2019 IJG was led by Ilimbek Mamatov (not listed) and consists of approximately 250 fighters, operating primarily in the Afghan Provinces of Badakhshan, Sari Pul, Zabul and Takhar. Mamatov, who enjoys significant authority among Central Asian fighters, is seeking to create in Afghanistan a united Central Asian terrorist group under his command. This new group would be subordinate to Al-Qaida, enhance the credibility of fighters from Central Asia and establish uninterrupted funding. There was an IJG contingent of approximately 30 fighters in the Syrian Arab Republic known as the small Islamic Jihad group. They came from Afghanistan and are led by Abu Ubaidah (not listed).

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Page last modified: 31-01-2020 19:13:39 ZULU