Oct 23, 2014
By: Sayed Mujtaba Hashimy
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is one of the few foreign militant groups operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The group is associated with al-Qaeda, and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. IMU is known as a disciplined organization with die-hard and experienced cadre. Its origin goes back to the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union when it grew under the leadership of Tahir Yaldashev, a young Mullah and Juma Namangani, a former Soviet paratrooper out of a religious movement called Adolat (justice). IMU was designed towards the goal to establish an Islamic state in Uzbekistan. However, immediate military measures undertaken by the Uzbek government urged IMU to seek sanctuaries in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime in late 1998. For it to survive and remain relevant, the group had to promote the goals of the local militant factions in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.