What is the terrorist threat in Central Asia? Are there terrorist groups in Central Asia?
The terrorist threat in Central Asia comes mainly from extremist groups that developed their presence in the region after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and that identify their political causes with Islam. The most active of these groups is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), by some reports now the Islamic Movement of Central Asia. The State Department designated the IMU a Foreign Terrorist Organization in September 2000 after it conducted violent attacks against the governments of Central Asia. It has publicly called for the overthrow of the Government of Uzbekistan and has claimed responsibility for violent attacks in the territories of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Although they operated mainly from their bases in Afghanistan, the IMU also had established bases in Tajikistan prior to Operation Enduring Freedom; however, the government of Tajikistan pushed the vast majority of IMU fighters out of the country early in 2001. The IMU’s actions over the years have resulted in t