ISIS-K growing in power as Taliban civil war forces fanatics to ‘switch sides’ fuelling fears of mass terror attacks

ISIS-K growing in power as Taliban civil war forces fanatics to ‘switch sides’ fuelling fears of mass terror attacks

September 22, 2021

ISIS-K is recruiting jihadis from across Asia as it launches a ferocious guerrilla war against the Taliban, experts warn.

Formed in 2015, the evil group killed at least 180 people in a bomb attack at Kabul airport last month.



Further terror assaults over the weekend killed at least seven people including a child.

But what is the death cult's ultimate goal in Afghanistanand why are some hardliners in the Taliban believed to be "switching sides"?

Experts say that ISIS-K – or Islamic State Khorasan Province – see the Taliban as "moderates" who allow girls to be educated and even hold talks with non-Muslim western countries.

Dr Rakib Ehsan, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, says the group is recruiting jihadis from across south and Central Asia who are "disillusioned" with the new regime in Afghanistan.

He told The Sun Online: "ISIS-K are a different form of animal from the Taliban.

"Their ultimate goal is establish a global islamic caliphate while the Taliban are solely focused on implementing sharia law in Afghanistan.

"ISIS-K believes the Taliban is a reformist movement which betrays Islam and they are swooping up disillusioned who share this view.

"The Islamic State is focused on the destruction of western civilisation."

There are around 2,200 members of ISIS-K in Afghanistan with the overwhelming majority living in Nangahar province in the east of the mountainous country.

They are a group primarily made up of former members of the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), says Dr Ehsan.

Asked whether ISIS-K could defeat the 75,000-strong Taliban and takeover Afghanistan, expert is in no doubt about the outcome.

He said: "It's highly unlikely that ISIS-K would win.

"I think the Taliban would destroy them. If you look at how easily they defeated the US-trained Afghan National Security Forces – they have a lot of very experienced generals."

However, the Taliban's new "moderate" approach is also created unrest within its own ranks.

Factions have formed between supporters of Deputy PM Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who held talks with the US, and interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani – whose network carried out several horrific terror attacks over the past two decades.

Rahmatullah Nabil, a former Afghani spy chief, says that many Taliban extremists are unhappy with the new reforms made under Baradar including allowing women to attend school and work.

He told The Times these fanatics within the Taliban could switch sides and join ISIS-K.

The ex-spy chief said: “Many regional militant groups — Uzbeks, Tajiks, Uyghurs and Turkmen in Afghanistan and central Asia — do not see a point in following the Taliban any more and will seek to join ISKP.

"Even the Taliban fighters who are more extreme, especially in the east, do not accept the Taliban’s authority and will very likely switch to ISKP.”

The Taliban has dismissed the threat of ISIS-K claiming that the vastly-outnumbered terror group is widely "hated" by the Afghan population.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: "Daesh [Islamic State] is not a threat, because the thought of Daesh is a hated thought among the people.

“No one supports them. Second, our combat against Daesh was effective in the past and we know how to neutralise their techniques.”

But with bomb attacks becoming more frequent, experts believe the assaults could turn some of the public against the Taliban if the new regime is unable to protect them.

Franz Marty, of the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs, said: “It’s impacting people’s perceptions.

"If the Taliban can’t make good on their promise on securing the country, that could turn the tide of public sentiment against them in the east.”

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?

Email us at [email protected] or call 02077824104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours

Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next six weeks.

    Source: Read Full Article