Sunday, December 6, 2015

ISIS in Afghanistan

The Afghan Taliban have released a detailed report about their recent fight against Central Asian militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) and allied with a Taliban splinter group. The report, released on November 25, claims that a dissident Taliban commander (Mansoor Dadullah) based in southern Zabul has teamed up with a group of Central Asian fighters (most from Uzbekistan). The members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) have been long-time fighters in the Afghan conflict - based in Pakistan and more recently in northern Afghanistan. ISIS is currently establishing itself in Nangarhar and Zabul provinces. Read more in "Afghan Taliban Detail Fight Against Uzbek IS Militants", Gandhara Blog, November 30, 2015.

Naray District - Under ISIS Control. The Islamic State is not about to displace Taliban to a large extent across Afghanistan but it is making inroads in some districts. IS recruits are paid about $500 a month - a healthy paycheck for a young unemployed Afghan in rural areas. The IS propaganda machine also sways the under crowd. Read an account of the IS influence in a district in Kunar province in "Islamic State: Why Afghanistan isn't panicking - yet", The Christian Science Monitor, December 3, 2015.

ISW - ISIS Report. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has released a paper  that provides maps, history, current on the ground situation, and more on ISIS. See "ISIS in Afghanistan", December 3, 2015.

ISIS and Taliban Competing. The threat from ISIS or Daesh has been localized to the eastern and south western parts of Afghanistan according to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan. (Observer Research Foundation, Nov 30, 2015).

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