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Separatist, Para-military, Military,
Intelligence, and Political Organizations

Organizations Using the Internet

Afghanistan (not Taliban, listed elsewhere)

Modified 24 Apr 2009

Afghanistan — The USSR invaded Afghanistan 27 December 1979, and were opposed by various mujahadin factions. For the following ten years, the U.S. CIA funded and supplied weapons to the mujahadin through Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). With the Soviet departure in 1989, U.S. interest in Afghanistan ceased. ISI had distributed the weapons through Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was rabidly anti-western. He seized the position of prime minister in the fighting after the Soviet departure, preventing any coalition government. The Taleban, backed by Pakistan's ISI, eventually became the major military force in Afghanistan, seizing Kabul and the majority of the territory by the mid-1990's. Between the Taliban's rise to power and the war in late 2001, most countries and the U.N. recognized the exiled Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan as the legitimate Afghan government. It was founded in the 1960's by Burhanuddin Rabbani, with Ahmad Shah Massoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and was currently ruled by Rabbani through late 2001. A very few countries (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates) instead recognized the Taleban (in Sep 2001, after the attacks on the U.S., Saudi Arabia and UAE dropped their recognition, and Pakistan dropped its recognition by late 2001).

The Jamiat-e-Islami formed the most important part of the Northern Alliance, which held the northern part of the country before the U.S.-supported campaign in late 2001. Ahmad Shah Massoud was the Northern Alliance's military leader, holding the mountainous country of the Hindu Kush in the north-east of the country, until he was assassinated by the Taleban on 9 September 2001, two days before the World Trade Center in New York was attacked.

The anti-Taleban Afghan coalition was known as the United National Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan or UNIFSA; it was made up of 13 parties opposed to the Taliban including Harakat-i-Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Movement of Afghanistan), Hizb-i-Islami (Islamic Party), Hizb-i-Wahdat-i-Islami (Islamic Unity Party), Jumaat-i-Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Afghan Society), Jumbish-i-Milli (National Front), Mahaz-i-Milli-i-Islami (National Islamic Front).

Afghan refugees outside Afghanistan had organized politically, including: Mellat (Social Democratic Party), Coordination Council for National Unity and Understanding in Afghanistan, (CUNUA, based in Peshawar, Pakistan), tribal elders representing the traditional Pashtun leadership, and the Writers' Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA).

There is a confusing variety of movements. These pages might help you sort through them:

For specific organizations and movements, both in Afghanistan and overseas:
Map of Afghanistan.

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