During a recent raid in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, Coalition and Afghan special operations teams killed the Taliban’s deputy shadow governor who had “direct ties” to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
Bahadur, the deputy shadow governor who was also a senior military commander, was killed during a Dec. 30, 2010 raid in Kunduz. In a press release issued today, ISAF confirmed that Bahadur had been killed. Previous reports from Afghan officials had stated that Bahadur was killed, but claimed he was the shadow governor of Kunduz.
Bahadur was described by ISAF as a top military commander and facilitator who “conducted attacks and provided operational guidance to senior Taliban leaders in the province” and “provided funding, weapons and supplies to Taliban leaders and fighters.” He also “arranged the distribution of improvised explosive devices to Taliban groups operating in Kunduz and Balkh provinces.”
He maintained close ties to a senior Taliban commander in neighboring Baghlan province and also stayed in close contact with “members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorist group.”
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is an al Qaeda-affiliated group whose leadership cadre is based primarily in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The terror group operates primarily along the Afghan-Pakistani border and in northern Afghanistan. According to one estimate, more than 3,000 Uzbeks and other Central Asian fighters are sheltering in North Waziristan.
Kunduz province is a known haven for al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and allied terror groups. The presence of terror cells has been detected in the districts of Aliabad, Chahar Darah, and Kunduz; or three of Kunduz’s seven districts, according to an investigation by The Long War Journal.
Coalition and Afghan forces have killed and captured several senior level Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan commanders during raids in the north, where the IMU has integrated its operations with the Taliban and some of IMU’s leaders also fill top-level positions in the shadow governments. [For more information on senior IMU leaders killed or captured in the Afghan north, see LWJ report, ISAF continues to target IMU leaders in the Afghan north.]
The Taliban establish shadow or parallel governments in the regions they control or where the Afghan government is weak. These shadow governments fill the void by dispensing sharia justice; mediating tribal and land disputes; collecting taxes; and recruiting, arming, and training fighters.
ISAF and Afghan forces have had success in targeting the Taliban’s shadow government in the north. Since September 2010, combined special operations teams have killed Mohammed Amin, a senior commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who also served as the Taliban’s deputy shadow governor of Takhar; Qari Ziauddin, the shadow governor of Faryab; and Mullah Ismail, the Taliban’s shadow governor of Badghis.
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