Kunduz province remains a major hub of activity for the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a regional terror group that has integrated its operations with the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. The International Security Assistance Force announced that it captured yet another IMU leader in the province today.
An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a senior Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader and weapons facilitator in Chahar Darah district, Kunduz province, today. The arrested IMU leader is suspected of planning and conducting improvised explosive device attacks throughout Kunduz province, as well as coordinating the movement of IED materials for future attacks on Afghan and coalition security forces. The security force also detained two suspected insurgents during the operation.
The presence of IMU and al Qaeda cells has been detected in all seven of Kunduz’s districts: Aliabad, Archi, Chahar Darah, Imam Sahib, Khanabad, Kunduz, and Qal’ah-ye Zal; according to an investigation by The Long War Journal.
Special operations forces have conducted 12 raids against the IMU in Kunduz province alone so far this year. In the last reported raid, on Sept. 19 in the Qal’ah-ye Zal district, special operations forces captured Qari Yahya, the IMU’s top leader for Kunduz. Yayha was “maintaining communication and logistic ties with senior IMU and Taliban leaders” before he was captured.
The IMU has been a prime target of special operations forces in Afghanistan. So far this year, special operations forces have conducted at least 30 raids against the IMU; in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Faryab, Logar, Helmand, Kunduz, Takhar, and Wardak, or eight of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces; according to International Security Assistance Force press releases compiled by The Long War Journal.
This spring, ISAF killed the two previous IMU leaders for Afghanistan, in raids just a few weeks apart in Faryab province. [See LWJ report, Special operations forces kill newly appointed IMU leader for Afghanistan, for more information.]