Country Report on Terrorism 2018 - Chapter 5 - Islamic Jihad Union

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) was designated as a FTO on June 17, 2005. The group splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the early 2000s. 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 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 2013, two IJU videos showed attacks against an American military base in Afghanistan and an IJU sniper shooting an Afghan soldier.

According to statements and photos released by the group, IJU participated in the five-month long 2015 Taliban siege of Kunduz city. At least 13 police officers were killed in the attacks, and hundreds of civilians were killed. In August 2015, IJU pledged allegiance to the then newly appointed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour.

In 2017, IJU released a video showing its militants using assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades engaging in combat with Afghan troops in late 2016. A second video was released by IJU in April 2018 showing a joint raid with the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. The video, which is dated October 2017, shows a night clash with Afghan forces.

Strength: The group consists of 100 to 200 members.

Location/Area of Operation: IJU historically operates in Uzbekistan, with members scattered throughout Central Asia and Europe. In 2018, reports confirmed that IJU was active in northern Afghanistan.

Funding and External Aid: IJU’s sources of support are unknown.