Sunday, January 17, 2016

ISIS in Afghanistan

ISIS in Afghanistan - Meeting Some Challenges. In early 2015 it became apparent that the Islamic State was once again attempting to expand its reach across the globe. Now the target was Wilayat Khorasan - a territory encompassing Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, it hasn't been smooth riding thus far as the Taliban are taking issue with the encroaching jihadist movement - and the Taliban has some significant advantages. but the fight isn't over yet. Read "The Graveyard of Caliphates", by Nathaniel Barr and Bridget Moreng, Foreign Affairs, January 13, 2016.

ISIS now Terrorist Group. The U.S. government has designated the Khorasan branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - sometimes referred to as ISIL-K - as a terrorist organization. The group currently operates in some of the remote parts of the Afghanistan and Pakistan border. (Khaama Press, Jan 14, 2016).

ISIS attack on Pakistani Consulate. The Pakistani's consulate in Jalalabad was attacked resulting in seven Afghan security personnel killed and ten civilians wounded. None of the consulate staff were wounded or killed. IS claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack was initiated with a suicide bomber targeting a police vehicle outside the consulate followed by two assailants entering a building next to the compound. (The Washington Post, Jan 13, 2016).

Consulate Attack an Expansion of IS Activities. Observers see an escalation by the Islamic State group in Afghanistan that should be worrying to the Afghan government. Read "Islamic State claim signals escalation by group in Afghanistan", Stars and Stripes, January 14, 2016.

ISIS: Shave Your Beard, Wear a Cross. ISIS is advising supporters, fighters, and recruits in the West to pretend to be Christians, shave their beards, and wear a cross in order to be successful in their "lone wolf attacks". (Voice of America, Jan 12, 2016).

U.S. Drone Strike Targets ISIS. News reports say that a U.S. drone launched a missile attack against Islamic State militants in eastern Nangarhar province on January 8th (Friday). Up to 20 militants are reported dead.(Reuters, Jan 10, 2016).

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