Photograph of Abdullah Miqdad, or Abdullah the Essen, a German member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who was killed in Afghanistan this year.
The al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan released a list of its commanders and fighters who have been killed over the past year. The commanders and fighters were from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Germany, and Russia.
On its website, Furqoon, the IMU released a statement today that is accompanied by short bios, and in some cases photographs, of its members who have been killed. A translation of a portion of the statement along with the names and images of the IMU operatives has been provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Five military commanders were listed as being killed over the past year. Listed as killed were Abbas Mansour from Kyrgyzstan; Abbas al Muthanna from Tajikistan; and Jalal Bilal Sahib, Mullah Tajuddin Wathiq, and Noor Ahmed Mubariz, all from Afghanistan.
Afghans dominate the list; 64 of the IMU operatives killed were from Afghanistan. Of the fighters from Afghanistan, 23 were from Takhar province, 20 were from Baghlan, 9 were from Kunduz, 8 were from Samangan, 2 were from Faryab, and 1 each were from Sar-i-Pul and Badakhshan. In mid-October, the IMU said that five of its fighters from Kunduz executed the suicide assault on the US Provincial Reconstruction Team base in Panjshir. [See LWJ report, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claims Panjshir suicide attack.]
The Afghan provinces of Baghlan, Faryab, Kunduz, Sar-i-Pul, and Takhar are known strongholds of the IMU. Earlier this year, the International Security Assistance Force noted the location of suicide camps in both Sar-i-Pul and Samangan. The IMU is known to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan and has integrated into the Taliban’s shadow government in the north.
Twenty of the IMU operatives were from the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan (10), Kyrgyzstan (6), and Uzbekistan (4).
The Russian IMU fighter, Abdul Qayyum, is listed as coming from “Tataristan,” which presumably is the predominately Muslim Russian republic of Tatarstan. The Pakistani identified as Saifullah Wazir is said to have originated from Wana in South Waziristan.
The German is identified as “Abdullah ‘Miqdad.'” The IMU had previously announced his death in June. Miqdad was identified as “Abdullah from Essen,” and was killed while fighting US forces in Baghlan in March 2011. He was nicknamed “Afghan Lightning,” and first arrived in Pakistan’s tribal area of Waziristan in November 2010. “In 2011, he concluded his training in a training camp, and traveled shortly after that to northern Afghanistan,” the IMU said. [See LWJ report, German jihadi killed in Afghanistan, claims Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan spokesman.]
For more information on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, see LWJ report, IMU cleric urges Pakistanis to continue sheltering jihadis in Waziristan.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.