ISAF kills, captures 2 IMU facilitators in Takhar

Two days ago, special operations forces launched two operations against the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Afghanistan’s northern province of Takhar. One IMU facilitator was killed and another was captured during the two raids in the Ishkamish district. From the ISAF press release announcing the raids:

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a facilitator with ties to multiple terrorist organizations during an operation in Ishkamish district, Takhar province, today.

The facilitator is believed to be an improvised explosive device expert who has done work for the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. He owns a residence suspected of being used exclusively for building and distributing IEDs for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He is also alleged to be heavily involved in the financial aspect of the insurgency, generating funding support of continued terrorist activities…

During another operation today in a different area of Ishkamish district, Takhar province, an Afghan and coalition security force killed Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator, Juma Khan. Khan utilized his residence as a staging point for IMU terrorists, offering safe haven and weapons storage for fighters as they prepared for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He also had a history of procuring and distributing weapons and ammunition to his fellow insurgents. As a result of the operation, the security force also seized multiple grenades, one AK-47 with magazines, a pistol belt with magazines, and ammunition.

As noted on April 5, the targeting against the IMU in northern Afghanistan has increased this year. There have been 15 reported raids against the IMU in the Afghan north reported by ISAF so far this year.

All 15 raids against the IMU have taken place in the northern provinces of Baghlan (4 raids), Jawzjan (1), Kunduz (6), and Takhar (4). Three of those raids occurred in the Ishkamish district in Takhar province.

The IMU clear remains entrenched in northern Afghanistan despite years of persistent operations against the terror group. The IMU has integrated its operations with the Taliban and maintains its base of support across the border in Pakistan.

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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  • mike merlo says:

    I’d be curious to know how much of the ill will being generated in the targeted districts is result of the usual ethnic tensions commonplace to Afghanistan or the actual result of IMU/Taliban proselyting. Advocating challenging of the Central Government by trolling for recruits or simply intimidation targeting the Uzbeks on the part of the IMU/Taliban

  • Prometheus says:

    What indications are you seeing that the IMU remains clearly entrenched in Northern Afghanistan? They are present, but with the persistent removal of IMU commanders and facilitators I am not seeing a lot of activity out of the IMU in the North.
    With the removal of Juma Khan, I think the entire Burkah/Ishkamish network is somewhat degraded. They’ve lost a long time base of operations and a connection to money coming in from Pakistan.
    Additionally, there was another operation against the IMU in Burkah on the 10th:
    “An Afghan and coalition security force killed a number of insurgents during an operation in search of a senior insurgent leader with ties to both the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Burkah district, Baghlan province, Tuesday. The leader is the second-highest ranking insurgent official in Burkah district and personally responsible for recruiting and training Afghans in insurgency operations and targeting Afghan officials for kidnappings and executions. He has also played a significant role in linking Taliban and IMU fighters in Baghlan, working as a mediator and coordinating operations between the two different networks.”


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