Islamic Jihad Union
|Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)|
|Participant in terrorism in Uzbekistan
War in Afghanistan (2001-present)
Flag of Jihad
|Leaders||Akhtar Mansoor, Najmiddin Jalolov †|
|Originated as||Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan|
|Battles and wars||Islamic insurgency in Uzbekistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU; Arabic: اتحاد الجهاد الإسلامي Ittiḥad al-Jihad al-Islāmī), initially known as Islamic Jihad Group (IJG), is a militant Islamist organization that has conducted attacks in Uzbekistan and attempted attacks in Germany. The IJU has since focused on fighting Pakistani forces in the Tribal Areas, and NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.
The IJU was founded in March 2002 as a splinter group from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. The organization failed attacks in Uzbekistan in 2004 and early 2005. Then it changed its name, Islamic Jihad Group, into Islamic Jihad Union. After this period, it became closer to core al Qaida. Since its reorientation, the organization’s focus shifted and it began plotting terror attacks in Pakistan and Western Europe, especially Germany. Mir Ali in North Waziristan is the organization's base where Western recruits for attacks in the West are trained.
IJG setoff a series of bombs from 28 March to 1 April 2004 in Uzbekistan, killing 47 people. IJG has terror cells in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia. IJG members have trained at terror camps in Pakistan and Kazakhstan. The IJG bombed the Israeli and U.S. embassies and the Uzbek Prosecutor-General's Office in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 30 July 2004, saying they targeted "apostate" governments. Several IJG members were arrested in Kazakhstan in late 2004.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Porter Goss testified in March 2005 that IJG "has become a more virulent threat to U.S. interests and local governments." The State Department designated IJG as a global terrorist organization in May 2005. The United Nations Security Council added IJG to its terrorism list in June 2005.
On 13 October 2005, Hazel Anne Blears MP testified before the British House of Commons that the IJU should be identified as a banned organization because it posed a threat to British interests overseas. Some Ministers dissented from this viewpoint, and former British Ambassador Craig Murray later claimed that the IJU attacks were highly controlled and limited operations orchestrated by the Government of Uzbekistan. On the contrary, MP Blears asserted in her testimony that these conclusions were independently corroborated by British intelligence and security services sources, and that many UN members expressed concern regarding the IJG.
In 2007 three terrorists were arrested in Germany after being suspected of plans to attack the Frankfurt International airport and US-Military installations such as Ramstein Air Base. The three persons were directly affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Group.
In 2008 two suspected IJU members were arrested at Germany's Cologne Bonn Airport aboard a KLM flight bound for Amsterdam. The men, who had connecting flights to Uganda, were thought to have continuing itineraries on to Pakistan, where sources claimed they would participate in some sort of terrorist training or indoctrination. However, after being held for several days, evidence failed to materialize and the men (one Somali and one German citizen of Somali heritage) were released.
A video released online by the IJU's media arm, Badr al-Tawhid, in 2011, showed its members fighting alongside Taliban forces in Afghanistan’s northern and eastern provinces, and providing training to local Uzbek, Tajik and Pashtuns. The same video listed IJU fighters killed in Afghanistan, whose names indicated they had come from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan.
In a mid-2015 statement, the IJU website claimed that the group was currently fighting alongside the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Turkistan Islamic Party in southern Afghanistan, the eastern provinces of Paktika, Paktia, and Nangarhar, and the northern provinces of Badakhshan and Kunduz. In August 2015, the IJU released a statement and photos showing scores of its fighters in Northern Afghanistan pledging allegiance to the newly appointed Taliban leader Akhtar Mansoor.
- DPA news agency (kjb) (September 19, 2008), Germany Arrests Two Suspected of Failed Terror Plot, Deutsche Welle, archived from the original on October 24, 2012, retrieved September 20, 2008
- "Islamic Jihad Union details its involvement in Taliban’s Azm offensive". Long War Journal. 25 July 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Sandee, Ronald (October 14, 2008). "The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)" (PDF). NEFA Foundation. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. interests Library of Congress
- "Hazel Blears Lies to Parliament about Origin of Intelligence". October 2005. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
- "The Mysterious Islamic Jihad Union". Archived from the original on January 23, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2007.
- Smith, Diane (September 5, 2007), Three Suspected Terrorists Arrested in Germany, eFluxMedia, retrieved September 20, 2008[dead link]
- DPA news agency (dc) (September 2, 2008). "Germany Indicts "Home Grown" Islamists for Terrorist Bomb Plot". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2008.
- Bill Rogio (February 3, 2012). "Islamic Jihad Union details cooperation with Afghan Taliban". Long War Journal. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- "Central Asian groups split over leadership of global jihad". Long War Journal. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Einar Wigen (2009) Islamic Jihad Union: al-Qaida’s Key to the Turkic World? FFI-report 2009/00687
- "Islamic Jihad Group's Links with Uzbekistani Terrorism Mulled," Viktoriya Panfilova, April 19, 2004, Moscow, Nezavisimaya Gazeta
- "Islamic Jihad Group in Uzbekistan Claims Responsibility for Suicide Attacks," FBIS, July 30, 2004
- "U.S. Department of State Designates the Islamic Jihad Group Under Executive Order 13224," Press Statement: Richard Boucher, May 26, 2005, US Department of State
- "Country Reports on Terrorism 2005," April 28, 2006, U.S. Department of State
- (Uzbek) Official website