Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Established in 1991, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is an Islamic militant organization with close relations with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Following the Tajik civil war, Tohir Yo’ldoshev and Juma Namangoniy shifted operations to Uzbekistan and formed the IMU. While its pan-Islamic message is filled with anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric, the organization is primarily motivated by local issues like the anti-Islamic policies of Islam Karimov’s Uzbeki government, which claims security concerns justify systematized use of censorship, torture, and arrests against Muslims. After US forces killed senior IMU leaders in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, the group moved to Pakistan; it now maintains a presence in both countries. Attributed attacks include a series of bombings in Tashkent that killed 16 people in 1999; its attacks in Pakistan include a 2012 assault on the Peshawar airport and a June 2014 attack on the airport in Karachi. IMU has also kidnapped a number of foreigners and murdered several government workers.