Tahir Uldashev

Tahir Uldashev

Leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Date of Birth: 02.10.1968
Country: Uzbekistan

  1. Biography of Takhir Yuldashev
  2. Early Life and Radicalization
  3. Creation of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
  4. Legal Issues and Continued Activities

Biography of Takhir Yuldashev

Early Life and Radicalization

Takhir Yuldashev, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, was born in Namangan, Uzbekistan, into a poor family. He served in the Soviet troops in Afghanistan during his mandatory military service. After completing his service, Yuldashev returned to Namangan and became involved in radical Islamic ideas, eventually becoming one of the leaders of non-governmental Islamic organizations. He declared himself an emir and played an active role in various extremist organizations, including "Adolat uyushmasi" ("Society of Justice"), "Islom lashkorlari" ("Soldiers of Islam"), and the militarized group "Tovba." During the period of lawlessness following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he established parallel governing structures in Namangan, where he personally conducted trials, administered vigilante justice, and maintained a prison in the Uychinsk district of Namangan region.

Creation of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

In 1993, Yuldashev fled to Afghanistan and, together with Juma Namangani, founded the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in 1996. Three of Yuldashev's brothers, Madamin, Muhammad, and Zokhidjon, were arrested by Uzbek special services in 1997. In 1999, he organized and led the incursion of Islamic militants through Tajikistan into the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan. However, the militants were repelled during the fighting, and they returned to Afghanistan.

Legal Issues and Continued Activities

On November 17, 2000, Yuldashev was found guilty by the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan for organizing terrorist acts in Tashkent on February 16, 1999. He was sentenced to death in absentia. The official position of Uzbekistan considers Yuldashev as one of the main organizers of a coup attempt in February 1999. During the attacks in Tashkent, he was reportedly in Tehran.

In late 1999 and early 2000, Yuldashev intensified his efforts to unite all forces opposing Islam Karimov. He sought refuge in Afghanistan and joined the Taliban movement with a group of fighters. During the NATO-led counter-terrorism operations, he retreated to Pakistan. In October 2007, Afghan police reported Yuldashev's death, but representatives of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan denied this statement.

Although he lost the ability to directly lead the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Yuldashev continues to propagate the ideology of the organization through video recordings of his lectures and appeals. These recordings are distributed by his supporters among radicalized Muslims in Central Asian countries. Yuldashev was listed as the fifth most wanted militant in Afghanistan, with the United States offering a reward of $200,000 for his capture.