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State Department designates Uzbek men as recruiters and organizers for terror groups

IMU emblem

The U.S. Department of State classified three Uzbek men as global terrorists on Jan. 26, saying they are recruiters, fighters and media men for two terror organizations in that central Asian country.

The designation comes only days after a U.S. terror task force arrested an Uzbek refugee in Denver as he boarded a plane to travel to Uzbekistan to join one of the terror groups, the Islamic Jihad Union, or IJU. Members of the FBI’s Denver and Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Forces arrested Jamshid Muhtorov, 35, of Aurora, CO, on Jan. 21 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to IJU, which has also been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Federal authorities said he posed no threat to the U.S., however.

The State Department’s Jan. 26 announcement of its designation of brothers Yassin and Monir Chouka and Mevlut Kar as Specially Designated Global Terrorists didn’t mention Muhtorov’s arrest, however.  

According to the agency, the Choukas are fighters, recruiters, facilitators and propagandists for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), while Kar is a facilitator and recruiter for the IJU.

Monir Chouka, also known as Abu Adam, and Yassin Chouka, also known as Abu Ibrahim, carry out operations as members of the IMU along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, it said. The Chouka brothers are also senior members of Jundallah Media, the IMU's media production arm, it added.

Under the designation, U.S. companies and organizations are prohibited from dealing with the Chouka brothers and Mevlut Kar. Any assets the men have in the U.S. have also been frozen. The three are were also listed on the United Nation’s Al Qaeda sanction committee for their links that group, said the State Department.

In October 2011, said the department, Monir Chouka claimed IMU responsibility for an attack that killed five Americans, a Canadian, eight ISAF civilian employees, three Afghan civilians, and a policeman. Monir also claimed IMU was responsible for the May 19, 2010 suicide assault in Bagram, Afghanistan, which resulted in the death of an American contractor and wounded nine NATO troops.

Mevlut Kar is currently wanted by the Government of Lebanon and an Interpol Red Notice has been issued for his arrest and extradition, said the agency. He was sentenced in absentia to 15-years in prison for attempting to establish an Al Qaeda cell in Lebanon. Kar is also implicated in the 2007 European bomb plot targeting U.S. military installations and American citizens in Germany. Kar, said the State Department, has also provided more than 20 detonators to members of the IJU.


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