Islamic Jihad Union: al-Qaida’s Key to the Turkic World?
Oslo, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) | 43 pages | The Report (pdf)
The Turkic peoples have assumed a relatively marginal role in global jihadism. The group Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) appears to have changed this. It broke off from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in 2002, after the fall of the Taliban. The leadership and core fighters appear to be Uzbek, and the group’s ideology draws on traits from both sociorevolutionary Islamism and global jihadism. The group refers to Uzbekistan and Germany as enemies, but there is little evidence of following up the words with deeds. The bulk of IJU attacks have been against American, British and Afghan National Army soldiers in Afghanistan.
One of the IJU’s most important communication outlets is a Turkish-language website called Şehadet Zamanı . It is uncertain whether the choice of language is deliberate or not, but it is likely to draw fame from the Turk and Kurd populations living in Turkey and Germany, as well as Turkic speakers in Central Asia.