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The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan -- An Evolving Threat

Militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) pose for photo in Afghanistan's Kunduz Province.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has been a threat looming over Central Asia for 15 years. Once the threat was clear and present -- in 1999, IMU militants burst into southern Kyrgyzstan and returned the next summer to do battle in both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Much has happened since then, and IMU militants are now concentrated in Pakistan's tribal areas and, increasingly, in northern Afghanistan, just across the border from Central Asia.

On May 29, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, Radio Azatlyk organized a roundtable that reviewed what is currently known about IMU and its potential for causing instability in Central Asia and beyond as foreign armed forces continue their withdraw from Afghanistan. Among the experts participating in the discussion:

  • Alisher Sidikov (RFE/RL's Uzbek Service)
  • Aleksei Malashenko (Carnegie Moscow Center)
  • Jacob Zenn (Jamestown Foundation)
  • Noah Tucker (
  • Haji Seyit Dawud (Afghan Media Resource Center)

Moderated by Turkmen Service Director Muhammad Tahir.

Read Bruce Pannier's overview of the conversation

Listen to the discussion:

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