The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)

Alternative Names


Ittihad al-Jihad al-Islami

Islamic Jihad Group



Threat to Kyrgyzstan

Currently Low, as the group is predominantly located in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the group does recruit from Kyrgyzstan, and due to its relationship to the IMU which has conducted attacks in Kyrgyzstan it poses a real threat.


Uzbekistan, Pakistan (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), Afghanistan, Western Europe, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Kazakhstan.


The current leader of the IJU is unknown. The previous leader Nijmiddin Jalalov, was killed in 2009 by a US drone strike.


The size of the IMU is unknown.

Although members come from all over Central Asia as well as the Caucasus, Turkey and the Middle East.

They have previously been successful in recruiting in Germany.


The IJU is rumoured to receive funding from the Taliban, the Haqqani network and al-Qaeda.

Ideology and Objective

IJU seeks to topple the Government of Uzbekistan and continues to carry out attacks against security forces in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas of Pakistan and against NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

The IJU and the IMU are radical Sunni groups who follow a radical interpretation of Islam and Pan-Islamism.


Suicide bombings ,coordinated firearm assaults, car bombs and other types of bomb attack.

Major Attacks

2004 - Multiple suicide bombings in Tashkent, targeting the Israeli and U.S. embassies

2005 - Raids on a prison and regional government buildings in Andijon Province, Uzbekistan

2007 - Foiled attack in Germany

2008 - Suicide bombings in Khost, Afghanistan

2009 - Attacks in Andijan Province, Uzbekistan


  • In 2002 the IJU was formed after a group of fighters broke away from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
  • The IJU formed around a small leadership group led by Najmiddin Jalolov and Suhayl Buranov, both of whom were Uzbek.
  • They subsequently created a close relationship with al-Qa’ida.
  • The IJU aim is to overthrow the current Uzbekistan regime and replace it with a government based on Islamic law.
  • There members come from all over Central Asia as well as the Caucasus, Turkey and the Middle East.
  • The IJU fought not only in Afghanistan but also in Central Asia, they were implicated in multiple suicide bombing sin Tashkent in July 2004
  • They also conducted a raids on a prison and regional government buildings in Andijon Province, Uzbekistan, in 2005.
  • In the mid-2000s they were particularly successful at recruiting in Germany, from both the large Turkish population and Muslim converts.
  • An IJU attack was foiled in Germany 2007
  • After the German plot a number of small suicide attacks were conducted using German/Turkish fighters in Afghanistan near the town of Khost in 2008.
  • The group preceded to conduct a large scale media campaign in support of its actions.
  • However after the Germany plot European governments targeted the IJU. With the help of the Turkish government multiple cells and groups tied to the IJU network were uncovered and eliminated.
  • This was followed by Operation Falcon in 2009, a joint operation by Pakistani and Afghani troops to attack IMU and IJU groups.
  • This pressure hampered the IJU but led them to conducting attacks in Uzbekistan in Andijan province in 2009.
  • The US started systematically targeting IJU leaders, notably Nijmiddin Jalalov who was killed by a drone in September 2009.
  • The combined efforts of the US, Pakistan, Afghanistan and European governments has severely limited the IJU ability to operate.
  • It has been reported that IJU militants have and are attempting to escape from the Pakistan Tribal belt to regroup elsewhere. Most likely close to the Uzbek or Tajik borders in Afghanistan.

Designed by Oliver McGough
Using Format