The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is a militant Islamist group formed in 1998 by the Islamic ideologue Tahir Yuldashev, and former Soviet paratrooper Juma Namangani—both ethnic Uzbeks from the Fergana Valley. Its original objective was to overthrow President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, and to create an Islamic State under Sharia, however in subsequent years it reinvented itself as an ally of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Operating out of bases in Tajikistan and Taliban-controlled areas of northern Afghanistan, the IMU launched a series of raids into southern Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and 2000. The IMU suffered heavy casualties in 2001-2002 during the American-led invasion of Afghanistan. Namangani was killed, while Yuldeshev and many of the IMU's remaining fighters escaped with remnants of the Taliban to Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Since then the IMU has focused on fighting Pakistani forces in the Tribal Areas, and NATO and Afghan forces in northern Afghanistan.