Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ISIS in Afghanistan?

The Islamic State has been blamed for and they took credit for the killing of 35 and wounding of over a hundred residents of Jalalabad, Afghanistan in a suicide bombing. (see Military Times story, Apr 18, 2015). In a statement, a group calling itself the "Province of Khorasan", provided the name and photo of the suicide bomber who conducted the attack. Many observers have raised the alarm about the growth of ISIS in Afghanistan while others say it is simply a scattering of independent groups of insurgents changing one insurgent flag for another. In a recent press report from Khaama Press (April 20, 2015) it appears that the two insurgent groups - the Taliban and ISIS - have declared Jihad against each other. One analyst, Michael Kugelman, says that the Jalalabad attack won't be the last (DW.de, Apr 220, 2015).

Anthony Cordesman is interviewed about ISIS in Afghanistan in a five-minute video posted on Public Broadcasting System (PBS). He says that there is a lack of stability due to an Afghan government that is not governing and an Afghan security force that has not met expectation. Watch "Threat of terror groups builds following ISIS suicide bombing in Afghanistan", April 18, 2015.

The possible growth of ISIS in Afghanistan needs to be taken seriously. By all accounts, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is extremely organized and well-led. Documents recently recovered showed a sophisticated plan for the growth of ISIS in Syria followed by a push into Iraq. The detailed plans for the organizing of an intelligence structure are an indication of the advanced planning conducted for the establishment of the Caliphate. Learn more about the intelligence structure of ISIS in a very detailed report by Spiegel Online International (April 18, 2015). Should ISIS attain a foothold in Afghanistan it is very likely that this sophisticated organization will prove to be a formidable opponent.

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