Background Briefing

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Appendix A: Afghanistan’s Main Military Factions

Jamiat-e Islami-yi Afghanistan (hereafter “Jamiat”), Shura-e Nazar and Nehzat-e Melli

Jamiat is a predominately Tajik Islamist political party founded in the 1970s by Burhanuddin Rabbani, the President of Afghanistan from 1992-1996.  Jamiat became a military faction during the Soviet occupation and later comprised the bulk of the military forces of the Rabbani government in the early 1990s.  Although Rabbani was Jamiat’s original official leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, as the leader of Jamiat’s military wing, was its most powerful figure.  Massoud founded and led Shura-e Nazar, a military federation including other mujahidin military forces.  After Massoud was assassinated, on September 9, 2001, Jamiat and Shura-e Nazar forces came under the control of his senior commanders and advisors, including Mohammad Qasim Fahim (now the Minister of Defense), Yunis Qanooni (now a presidential candidate and a member of President Karzai’s cabinet until July 2004), and Dr. Abdullah (the Foreign Minister).  Regional Jamiat commanders include Mohammad Atta in Mazar-e Sharif (now the Governor of Balkh) and Mohammad Daoud from Kunduz (now a senior official in the Interior Ministry).  Jamiat members, some of whom have reorganized under a political title of Nehzat-e Melli, hold numerous governmental posts.  Today, most Jamiat and Shura-e Nazar commanders remain allied, although there are often tensions between them.

Ittihad-i Islami Bara-yi Azadi Afghanistan (hereafter “Ittihad”) also known as Daw’at-e Islami

Ittihad is a predominately Pashtun faction headed by Abdul Rabb al-Rasul Sayyaf, originally a Jamiat official who founded the party in the early 1980s.  Ittihad obtained assistance from Saudi Arabia throughout the war against the Soviet occupation, and Arab volunteers supported by Saudi sources fought with Sayyaf’s forces and trained in Ittihad camps.  Ittihad’s central power base is in Paghman district, west of Kabul.  Ittihad was and is allied with Jamiat. It is sometimes described as part of Shura-e Nazar.  Ittihad leaders hold numerous military posts nationally, and numerous judges and governors around the country, including the governor of Kabul, Mullah Taj Mohammad, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Fazul Hadi Shinwari, are believed to have been appointed by President Karzai at the insistence of Sayyaf.  Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, one of the presidential candidates, is an Ittihad member.

Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami-yi Afghanistan (hereafter “Wahdat”)

Wahdat is a predominately Hazara faction in Afghanistan, based in central Afghanistan and comprised of several Shia parties, who united in the late 1980s.  Wahdat was originally led by Abdul Ali Mazari (killed in 1996) and heavily supported by Iranian sources.  Wahdat was allied with Jamiat and Shura-e Nazar forces in 1992 (yet fought with Ittihad in Kabul) and allied with them again after 1996 against the Taliban, but has largely remained an independent force.  Wahdat is no longer a unified party.  Some of its commanders are allied with Mohammad Mohaqqiq, a northern commander now running for president who served as Minister of Planning in President Karzai’s cabinet until March 2004.  Others are allied with Karim Khalili, one of President Karzai’s vice-presidents and now a candidate for second vice president on President Karzai’s ticket.

Junbish-e Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan (hereafter “Junbish”)

Junbish is a predominately Uzbek and Turkmen militia and political party based in northern Afghanistan, led by Abdur Rashid Dostum, a former general in the Soviet-backed Afghan army in the 1980s who turned against Kabul in the final days of the Soviet-backed government.  Junbish as a militia is mostly comprised of forces from the former Soviet-backed army and various mujahidin militias from the north of the country.  Most rurally based commanders in the northern provinces of Samangan, Balkh, Jowzjan, Faryab, and Baghlan provinces are allied with Junbish.

Harakat-e Islami-yi Afghanistan (hereafter “Harakat”),

Harakat was a Shia political party and mujahidin force founded in the early 1980s.  The Harakat-e Islami party was headed for most of the 1980s by Mohammad Asef Mohseni (a cleric who participated in the June 2002 Loya Jirga).  Harakat received substantial support from Iran in the early 1990s.  Harakat, like Wahdat, is now fractured.  One faction is led by Mohseni, a second splinter is led by a military commander Sayeed Hossein Anwari (now the Agricultural Minister), and a third is led by Sayeed Mohammad Ali Javeed (now the Minister of Transportation).

Durrani Pashtun Tribal Militias in and around Kandahar

In the south, in areas in and around Kandahar province, military, police, and other governmental posts are mostly controlled by Pashtun Durrani subtribes—the Popalzais (the tribe of the Karzai family), the Alikozai, and the Barakzais.  These tribal forces, which fought as mujahidin forces in the 1980s, are either controlled or allied in varying degrees with President Karzai.  President Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, controls the Popalzai forces and maintains loose control over Alikozai and Barakzai commanders and leaders, some of whom also maintain close ties to Jamiat and Shura-e Nazar.

Ismail Khan’s militia in and around Herat

Until recently, western provinces in and around Herat were controlled by the militia of Ismail Khan, an Islamist mujahidin leader.  Ismail Khan is loosely allied with Jamiat and Shura-e Nazar but has remained essentially autonomous.  Until he was removed by President Karzai on September 12, 2004, he controlled almost all aspects of government and security forces in Herat and surrounding districts.  He is still believed to have significant power over militia forces in the Herat area.

Appendix B: Names of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates in the October 9, 2004 Election

Hamid Karzai

Vice-presidential candidates: Ahmed Zia Massoud, Karim Khalili

Yunus Qanooni

Vice-presidential candidates: Taj Mohammed Wardak, Sayyid Husain Aalimi Balkhi

Abdul Rashid Dostum

Vice-presidential candidates: Safiqa Habibi, Wazir Mohammed

Mohammad Mohaqqiq

Vice-presidential candidates: Nasir Ahmad Insaf, Abdul Faiaz Mhiraain

Abdul Latif Pedram

Vice-presidential candidates: Haji Ahmad Nirow, Mohammed Qasim Masomi

Masooda Jilal

Vice-presidential candidates: Mir Habib Sahily, Sayid Mohammed Aaliam Amini

Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai

Vice-presidential candidates: Aminullah Shafajoo, Abdul Manna Urzgani

Sayyid Ishaq Gilani

Vice-presidential candidates: Mohammed Ismail Qasimyar, Baryali Nasraty

Abdul Satar Sirat

Vice-presidential candidates: Qazi Mohammed Amin Waqad, Abdul Qadir Amini

Abdul Hafiz Mansoor

Vice-presidential candidates: Sayid Mohammeed Iqbal Manib, Mohammed Ayub Qasimi

Homayoun Shah Assefy

Vice-presidential candidates: Abdullah Rahmatee, Dr. Nelab Mobarez

Abdul Hasib Aryan

Vice-presidential candidates: Dil aqa Shkaib, Sayid Jahya

Said Abdul Hadi Dabir

Vice-presidential candidates: Abdul Rashid, Dad Mohammed

Abdul Hadi Khalilzai

Vice-presidential candidates: Khidai Noor Mandokhil, Khdadad Urfani

Mohammad Mahfooz Nedai

Vice-presidential candidates: Sayid Mohammed Arif Ibrahim Khil, Mohammed Hakrim Karimi

Mohammed Ibrahim Rashid

Vice-presidential candidates: Sayid Mohammed Hadihadi, Hamid Tahiri

Ghulam Farooq Nijrabi

Vice-presidential candidates: Abdul Fatah, Abdul Hanan

Wakil Mangul

Vice-presidential candidates: Mohammed Yunus Moghil, Dina Gul

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