Katibat Imam al-Bukhari (KIB)
Khatiba Imam al-Bukhari (KIB) was listed by the UN on 29 March 2018 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2017) as being associated with ISIL or Al-Qaida for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “otherwise supporting acts or activities of ” and “other acts or activities indicating association with” Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant (QDe.137).
Khatiba Imam al-Bukhari (KIB) was established in 2011 in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border area by fighters who had split from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QDe.010). Since March 2015, the group has been actively collaborating with Jabhat al-Nusrah, listed as Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant (QDe.137) and its successor armed groups. As of March 2018, KIB is based in Khan-Shaykhun (53 km south of Idlib), the Syrian Arab Republic, and its operational zone spreads across the Syrian provinces of Idlib, Aleppo and Khama.
KIB commanded up to 500 foreign terrorist fighters, most of them are nationals of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation, including Russian nationals originated from the North Caucasus region. KIB conducted recruitment mainly among nationals of Uzbekistan, including through social networks. KIB fighters supported by Jabhat Al-Nusrah commit terrorist attacks against military and civilian installations in the Syrian Arab Republic. While trying to avoid direct engagements with Syrian government forces, KIB also kidnaps civilians. KIB’s arsenal includes Grad multiple launch rocket systems, anti-tank missile systems, and motorcars equipped with heavy artillery guns.
KIB leaders viewed Afghanistan as a new staging ground to project attacks against neighboring Central Asia countries. Since 2016, KIB fighters have been redeployed from the Syrian Arab Republic to the north of Afghanistan with a view to setting up training camps and organizing special terrorist training for new recruits.
By 2019 KIB was assessed to have a total of 220 fighters. The group’s financing has improved recently with funds from external sponsors. KIB consists of three cells which operate in the Syrian Arab Republic; Istanbul, Turkey; and the Faryab Province of Afghanistan, which borders Turkmenistan. The leader of the Afghan wing of KIB is Jumaboi (also known as “Juma Aka”) (not listed), a former member of IMU. The group numbers about 70 fighters; they participate actively in hostilities against Afghan government forces. Similarly to KTJ, KIB sends financial assistance, from its cell in Istanbul, through the hawala system to Afghanistan. Funds are brought in by informal money exchangers for Jumaboi from Maymana, the capital of Faryab. The original source of this income is the smuggling of fuel, food and medicine from neighboring Turkmenistan.
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