Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||19 July 2017|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), 19 July 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5981e3d8a.html [accessed 22 September 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
aka Islamic Jihad Group; Islomiy Jihod Ittihodi; al-Djihad al-Islami; Dzhamaat Modzhakhedov; Islamic Jihad Group of Uzbekistan; Jamiat al-Jihad al-Islami; Jamiyat; The Jamaat Mojahedin; The Kazakh Jama'at; The Libyan Society
Description: The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) is a Sunni violent extremist organization that was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on June 17, 2005. The group splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the early 2000s and has been based in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Najmiddin Jalolov founded the organization as the Islamic Jihad Group in March 2002, but the group was renamed Islamic Jihad Union in May 2005. Although IJU remains committed to overthrowing the Government of Uzbekistan, it also has a global agenda, demonstrated by its attacks on international forces in Afghanistan.
Activities: The IJU primarily operates against international forces in Afghanistan and remains a threat to Central Asia. IJU claimed responsibility for attacks in March and April 2004 in Uzbekistan, which targeted police at several roadway checkpoints and at a popular bazaar, killing approximately 47 people, including 33 IJU members, some of whom were suicide bombers. In July 2004, the group carried out near-simultaneous suicide bombings of the Uzbek Prosecutor General's office and the U.S. and Israeli Embassies in Tashkent. In September 2007, German authorities disrupted an IJU plot to attack U.S. military bases and personnel by detaining and prosecuting three IJU operatives, including two German citizens. Foreign terrorist fighters from Germany, Turkey, and elsewhere in Europe continued to travel to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area to join IJU to fight against U.S. and Coalition Forces. In 2013, two IJU videos showed attacks against an American military base in Afghanistan and an IJU sniper shooting an Afghan soldier at a base in Afghanistan.
According to statements and photos released by the group, IJU participated in the April-September 2015 Taliban siege of Kunduz city. At least 13 police were killed in the attacks and, according to the United Nations, some 848 civilians were killed or wounded. In June 2015, IJU claimed it carried out multiple attacks in eastern Afghanistan with al-Qa'ida and the Taliban, including an attack on an Afghan military base that killed "many apostate soldiers." In July 2015, the IJU stated it had expanded its base of operations and was engaged in activity in southern Afghanistan (in the provinces of Paktia, Paktika, and Nangarhar) and in Badakhshan and Kunduz. On August 20, IJU pledged allegiance to the then newly-appointed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour.
IJU continued its activity in 2016. In February, the group released a video promoting terrorism that showed a group of fighters stationed in the Levara region of North Waziristan, Pakistan.
Strength: 100 to 200 members
Location/Area of Operation: Afghanistan and Pakistan; IJU members are also scattered throughout Central Asia and Europe.