A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

BAAD - The Northern Alliance (or United Islamic Front for Salvation of Afghanistan - UIFSA) - 2001


The Northern Alliance (or United Islamic Front for Salvation of Afghanistan - UIFSA)

The Northern Alliance, also known as the United Islamic Front for Salvation of Afghanistan (UIFSA), was a coalition of militias seeking to topple the rule of the Taliban throughout Afghanistan.[1] An organization operating under the same name was established in 1992 in opposition to the communist government of then President Najibullah.[2] While victorious, this group disintegrated until September 1996, when Taliban forces captured the province of Kabul.[3] The Northern Alliance became active once again in 1996, serving as a military front assembled by leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan. The organization was comprised of an ethnically and religiously disparate group of rebel movements fighting a defensive war against the Taliban, including primarily three non-Pashtun ethnic groups-Tajiks, Uzbeks and the Hazaras.[4] The group has had several notable leaders, the most prominent being Ahmad Shah Massoud.[5]

In September 2001, two men, commonly believed to be members of the Taliban or al-Qa’ida, posing as journalists assassinated Massoud, causing the group to lose its strongest leader. While the alliance did initially suffer from the loss, support from allies helped restore its fortunes.[6] The technical and monetary support received from Iran, Russia, India, and Tajikistan; the flow of arms coming from the west; and the coordinating services of special services from the U.S. and the UK from inside Afghanistan, allowed UIFSA troops to finally oust the Taliban from power in Kabul. Ultimately, the Northern Alliance was able to gain control over large part of Afghanistan.[7] This allowed the front to play a crucial role in establishing the post-Taliban government of Hamid Karzai in late 2001 before disintegrating again in December of that same year.[8] View full narrative

Quick Facts for 2001


4 (Total of 1998 through 2012)


Approximately 15,000

Territorial Control:
Controls Territory (1)

Funding through Drug Trafficking:

Sorry, but there are no organizational details available for this group at this time.


Primary Ideology

  • Ag = Anti-Globalization
  • An = Anarchist
  • En = Ethnic
  • Ev = Environmental
  • Le = Leftist
  • Re = Religious
  • Ri = Rightist
  • Se = Separatist
  • Su = Supremacist
  • Vi = Vigilante


  •  Ally
  •  Suspected Ally
  •  Rival
  •  Violence
  •  Mixed Relations


  •  Blue 0 - 1479 fatalities
  •  Green 1479 - 2958 fatalities
  •  Yellow 2958 - 4437 fatalities
  •  Orange 4437 - 5916 fatalities
  •  Red 5916 - 7396 fatalities

Lethality is calculated as the total number of fatalities from 1998-2012.


Icon sizes depict approximate relative sizes of the organizations.

  • Smallest 0 - 10 members
  •   11 - 100 members
  •   101 - 1000 members
  •   1001 - 10000 members
  • Largest > 10000 members

Other Notes

Icons with no color coding or ideology icon have no detailed data at this time, and are provided as relationship information only.