ISAF again targets IMU leaders in northern Afghanistan

Special operations forces for the International Security Assistance Forces and the Afghan Army carried out two more raids against the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the north. Both raids, which took place over the past three days, occurred in Takhar province. The July 16 raid targeted a facilitator who aided suicide attacks in the north, while the July 17 raid targeted a leader who is linked to other IMU members based in Iran.

From the ISAF press release on the July 16 raid:

An Afghan-led combined security force detained two suspected insurgents while searching for an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator in Taloqan District, Takhar province, yesterday. The facilitator plans and coordinates suicide attacks, and recent reporting indicates he was planning imminent suicide bomb attacks in the area.

From the ISAF press release on the July 17 raid:

In Bangi district, Takhar province, an Afghan-led security force detained one suspected insurgent while searching for an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader, yesterday. The leader directs insurgents and acts as a liaison to the Taliban network, insurgent leaders in Pakistan, and IMU contacts in Afghanistan and Iran.

ISAF has previously killed or captured IMU commanders with links to operatives based in Iran [see LWJ report, Iran-backed senior IMU commander captured in Afghan north]. And an operative who works for both the Haqqani Network and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and aids “foreign fighters, including Iranians” to carry out attacks in the east was targeted in a special operations raid in the Orgun district in Paktika province in April [see LWJ report, Haqqani Network/IMU facilitator targeted in Afghan east].

Again, the IMU continues to be a top priority for Coalition and Afghan forces. Of the 14 raids against terror groups directly allied with al Qaeda (excluding the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and HIG) that have been reported by ISAF since the beginning of June, 13 targeted the IMU. Five of those raids took place in Kunduz, four in the neighboring province of Baghlan, two in Takhar, one in Balkh in the northwest, and one in Zabul in the southeast.

For more information on the IMU and recent raids, see LWJ report, Special operations forces capture burka-clad Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader in Afghan north.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • changez ali khan says:

    ISAF must be pleased with themselves for killing the leaders but killing leaders is not going to win the war against militancy in long run. What the world is missing in the whole affair is that the basic reason behind the phenomenon is not presence of leadership or idealogy but the MONEY that is available to the militants. Being a resident of Swat area in pakistan where few years back talibans were ruling before the pakistan army drove them out, i had the opportunity to form an idea about the whole drama.
    The talibans were nice before they got money and money beyond their imagination which turned them into savages. And we were all amazed that how could they get access to weapons (for example Ak47) when a bullet of the rifle cost 1 dollar (30 dollars for one magazine) when more that 40 percent pakistanis are living on less that two dollars a month.
    The american policy is terribly misplaced in war against terror. They can kill as many leaders as they want but it will only push the lower ranks up to leadership ranks and get access to huge amounts of money and it will go on and on.
    Instead of spending around 70 billions in the region they should concentrate on tracing the money and plugging it sources.
    Then we will see if talibans can fight with their fists. It just logical but americans are never known to see the logic. Or else they would have guessed that as their army can’t fight without billions pumped into them how can the talibans fight without money.

  • noneyabusiness says:

    I just love the way our government is spending our tax dollars on funding the enemy which leads to the death of our soilders!

  • GB says:

    Mr. Khan, it is difficult to plug the sources of money. The U.S has been working on doing that for the past ten years. It is difficult because most of the money is thought to be funneled in through Islamic charities. The U.S doesn’t exactly have the means to trace the money because there isn’t a paper trail for it. Much of the Taliban’s “donation” funding comes from people in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
    I do agree with you, though. ISAF should be eradicating poppy fields instead of turning a blind eye. Take away their opium (money source) and the insurgency dies.


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