Najmiddin Kamolitdinovic Jalolov was born in Uzbekistan in 1972 and became one of the most senior Central Asian militants based in Pakistan. He was believed to be involved in planning attacks on Germany and Uzbekistan.
Jalolov (aliases Yahyo, Ahmed and Nazimuddin Khilalof) joined with other members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to form a new group, the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). The group’s estimated 100 fighters used Waziristan as a base for training and planning, and were believed to have links to both al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Reportedly a ‘close aide’ of Osama bin Laden, Jalolov was named by Reuters as one of the top three Central Asian militant commanders based in Pakistan. He was allegedly involved in attacking elite troops in the Pakistani Army. The US government described him as an organiser of suicide bombings in 2004 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in which at least 42 people died.
Jalolov was also identified by the US as a ‘possible ringleader’ of plans by the ‘Sauerland cell‘, a group of German jihadists, to attack targets in Germany. Originally the Sauerland cell had planned to train with the IJU and fight in Chechnya, but Jalolov urged them to attack on German soil instead, members of the cell later told prosecutors. One of the cell’s members, Fritz Gelowicz, said the IJU argued a European attack would be ‘more use to the jihad’. Members of the cell later told their trial in Dusseldorf that they trained with the IJU in Waziristan and repeatedly met Jalolov, who they knew as ‘Ahmad’. They added that he recruited ‘others from Germany’.
In 2008, the US froze his assets and the UN Security Council added him to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
Jalolov was reportedly under heavy surveillance before his death. On September 14 2009, he was travelling in a vehicle near Mir Ali when it came under drone attack. He and three other alleged militants were killed; shortly afterwards the UN Security Council removed his name from its sanctions list, announcing: ‘Reportedly deceased in Pakistan in 2009’.
Sources and Citations
US officials (Wall Street Journal); security officials (Reuters); officials (Wall Street Journal); US intelligence sources (Geo TV); Pakistani officials (New York Times); intelligence sources (The News)