Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ISIS Threat in Afghanistan

The government of Afghanistan and Resolute Support Headquarters have finally admitted they have an ISIS problem. Although a small problem - it could get bigger quick if not managed properly. One only has to look at the rapid rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria to feel concern. Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Siddiq Sidiqqi admitted there was an ISIS presence in Afghanistan on February 10, 2015. On a good news front Mullah Abdul Rauk Khadim, a prime recruiter for the Islamic State in Afghanistan, was killed in a recent military operation in Helmand province. The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) confirmed that the capture or death of the former Taliban commander (recently released from Guantanamo prison) was a top priority. Another group, the Islamic Organization of Great Afghanistan has expressed its willingness to fight for the Islamic State. There is speculation that the newly minted Afghan Islamic State followers would clash with the resident Taliban groups in the south - and that support from 'outsiders' will not be forthcoming from the population of the region. It is hard to tell at this point according to most observers. There are also reports that ISIS is recruiting and forming guerrilla bands in northern Afghanistan. It should be an interesting fighting season this spring and summer. Read more in "Afghanistan Wakes Up to Islamic State Threat"Gandhara Blog - Radio Free Europe, February 14, 2015.

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