Uzbek Militancy in Pakistan's Tribal Region
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has been active in the Pakistani tribal region since late 2001, where it reconstituted after sustaining heavy losses fighting alongside the Taliban during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
After years of targeting the Pakistani military and pro-government tribal elders, the IMU is now an increasingly active part of the insurgency in Afghanistan and has recently planned terrorist attacks in Europe. This new strategic orientation—targeting coalition forces in Afghanistan and civilians in Europe instead of the Pakistani security establishment—has made the IMU a much more dangerous organization.
This report will first provide a brief background on the IMU and its movement from Afghanistan to the Pakistani tribal region, as well as its subsequent entrenchment in South Waziristan. It will examine the IMU’s alliances and operations in both South and North Waziristan, and document the splintering and movement of the group, as well as its evolving objectives. Finally, it will discuss the consequences of these changes for security in Afghanistan and in the West.