Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts

Sunday, July 30, 2017

ISKP Update

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) is still an effective insurgent force. It has suffered the decapitation of its leadership (compliments of US air strikes). In addition, ground forces of the Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) - enabled with U.S. SOF advisors/fighters and air support - have been hammering away at ISKP. Of course, there is conflict on the ground between ISKP and the Taliban as well. Despite all of this the ISKP has remained resilient. Read more on this topic in the articles below:

Another ISKP leader "dead": Where is the group headed after losing so many amirs?, by Borhan Osman, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), July 23, 2017.

"Behind the front lines in the fight to 'annihilate' ISIS in Afghanistan", by Max Bearak, The Washington Post, July 23, 2017. The U.S. military says it wants to annihilate ISIS in Afghanistan by the end of the year. U.S. SOF are working hard with their Afghan partners to do that but it is a tough, slow fight. ISIS-K is replenishing its ranks of fighters as quickly as it suffers casualties. From a high of almost 3,000 fighters ISIS-K has been reduce to less than 1,000 - according to U.S. military sources in Kabul. But Afghan intelligence officers in Nangarhar dispute this - saying ISIS-K is much stronger.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

ISIS in Afghanistan Update

U.S. and Afghan special operations forces have been taking the fight to the Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) over the past year or so. The strength of IS-K has been reduced from a high of 3,000 (estimates vary) to less than 1,000 (based on April/May estimates). This spring saw a concerted effort on the part of the Afghans and the U.S. to reduce IS-K enclaves in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. has suffered several deaths (SOF Soldiers) in recent months in this region of Afghanistan. The offensive against IS-K received a lot of media attention when the U.S.dropped the Mother of All Bombs or MOAB on Islamic State positions. Although the IS-K's position in Nangarhar province is being diminished there are concerns that the insurgent organization will move on to other more remote areas of Afghanistan - such as Nuristan province. (See a Gandara report on June 4, 2017 entitled "Worries Over New IS Sanctuary in Eastern Afghan Province").

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).

Sunday, July 19, 2015

ISIS in Afghanistan

The Islamic State (IS) or ISIS has been making some inroads into Afghanistan. Some alarmists see IS as a huge threat while others discount the ability of IS to actually take have a significant impact. Obviously the Afghan government and security forces are paying attention as well as Resolute Support headquarters and the Taliban. Some news reports on ISIS in Afghanistan can be found below.

Brian Perkins writes that the expansion of IS in Afghanistan could threaten the fledgling mining industry in The Diplomat (June 28th).

The June 2015 issue of the CTC Sentinel (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point) has an article entitled "The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Opens a Door to the Islamic State".

The IMU has a big presence in northern Afghanistan and its alliance with IS is a big concern. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) says that it has established a special force to combat the emergence of IS in Afghanistan (Khaama Press, Jul 2, 2015). In early July the NDS reported that the number two leader of IS was killed during an airstrike in Nangarhar (Tolo News, Jul 7, 2015).

Hezb-e-Islami and ISIS. The leader of the Afghan insurgent group Hezb-e-Islami (Hekmatyar) has come out in favor of the Islamic State over the Taliban (, Jul 7, 2015).

ISIS Plans to Attack US Forces. A recent article in The Hill Blog (Jul 10, 2015) states that members of ISIS in Afghanistan are planning to attack coalition personnel.

Key IS Figures Killed in Drone Attacks. The U.S. is hitting the ISIS leadership in Afghanistan in a series of drone attacks. (The Washington Post, Jul 9, 2015)

Afghan Fighters in Syria. The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) has published a story about Afghan citizens fighting for the Syrian army. (June 26, 2015).

Friday, March 13, 2015

Extremists Flourishing in Northern Afghanistan

There are indications that parts of northern Afghanistan is slowly slipping into the grasp of militants. This has Central Asian nations north of the Afghan border quite concerned. Taliban groups, the IMU, and possibly newly-formed groups aligned with or part of the Islamic State have increased their influence. It would appear that the groups are cooperating with one another. Read more in "Militant Melting Pot: Extremists Flourish South of Turkmenistan", Qishloq Ovoz Blog - Radio Free Europe, March 11, 2015.

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.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

ISIS in Afghanistan? Not So Much

A recent news article explores how much influence the Islamic State (IS) has in Afghanistan. The conclusion is - a small amount of activity that does not (at least for now) amount to much. Read more in "The Islamic State in Afghanistan: The boogeyman under the bed", Global Post, by Jean MacKenzie and Aziz Ahmad Tassal, December 31, 2014.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ISIS in Afghanistan?

The Islamic State (IS) - sometimes called ISIS or ISIL - is generating lots of press based on their rapid climb to success in Iraq and Syria. In addition, al Qaeda affiliated groups are proclaiming their allegiance to ISIS; as well as other jihadist groups throughout the world. There are many who are looking for signs that ISIS in making inroads in Afghanistan. While there have been some media reports about some smaller insurgent groups indicating their support there is no concrete evidence that any significant progress is being made by ISIS in Afghanistan. Read a detailed examination of this topic by Borhan Osman in "Messages in Chalk: 'Islamic State' haunting Afghanistan?", Afghanistan Analysts Network, November 17, 2014.