by Florian Flade
The „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ (IMU), a militant group based in the Pakistani tribal areas, has released a photo gallery presenting fighters killed in 2010 combat and airstrikes. For weeks the IMU´s propaganda activities were almost dead, their Germany-based website was close and no new video was produced, no confirmation on the rumours about German militants killed in U.S. drone attacks appeared on the internet.
In the IMU statement publishing the names, nationalities and also portraits of the „martyrs“ is says, the militant group had fighters killed on three fronts – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. This might indicate that IMU has expanded it´s insurgent campaign into the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan by mid-2010. 52 IMU fighters were killed in 2010, Jihadi militants from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russian Tatarstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Morocco, two are from Tunisia and two are from Turkey. According to the IMU „unfortunately more than half of the martyrs have become victims of airstrikes“.
From the details provided by IMU, a large number of Jihadis hailed from the North of Afghanistan. Eleven martyrs are from the Kunduz Province of Afghanistan, others are from Takhar, Baghlan, Lugar, Balkh, Kabul, Badakshan.
Many of those who are reported as killed now have been featured in IMU propaganda videos. Question remains while German Jihadis Shahab D. of Hamburg and Bünyamin E. of Wuppertal are not mentioned as 2010-martyrs. Both were killed in a single US drone strike early October in North-Waziristan. As far as intelligence reports suggest, the two German Islamists were members of IMU.