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UN warns of increasing presence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan

By: Lailuma Noori

The United Nations Security Council’s Monitoring Committee in its recent report has once again warned of increasing presence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, saying that al-Qaeda fighters are active and present in 15 provinces of Afghanistan’s eastern, southern and south-eastern parts. The UN report has said that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is alive and living in Afghanistan. Based on the report, the al-Qaeda leader is sick and under treatment.
The report says that the group has strengthened its positions in and around Kabul, where it conducts most of its attacks, targeting minorities, activists, government employees and personnel of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Currently, Daesh is active in Nuristan, Badghis, Sar-e-Pul, Baghlan, Badakhshan and Kunduz provinces.
“Despite territorial, leadership, manpower and financial losses during 2020 in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, Daesh’s Khorasan branch, or ISIL-K, has moved into other provinces, including Nuristan, Badghis, Sar-e-Pul, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Kunduz and Kabul, where fighters have formed sleeper cells,” the report said.
According to the report, in its efforts to resurge, ISIL-K has prioritized the recruitment and training of new supporters; its leaders also hope to attract intransigent Taliban and other militants rejecting the US – Taliban peace deal and to recruit fighters from the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and other conflict zones.
The Indian Outlook magazine has also published an article on UNSC’s recent report on Afghanistan. The magazine has written that a number of ISIL-K leaders are trying to be cooperative with Taliban and other extremist groups, which is in contradiction to the US – Taliban peace deal signed on 29 Feb 2020.
According to the Indian magazine, the ISIL-K leaders hope they will recruit those fighters and other extremist groups that are rejecting the US – Taliban peace deal.
What worries the current governments in the region today is the increasing capacity of ISIL based on their ideology. Currently, the geography of Central Asia and East Asia is one of the key places for which different scenarios have been designed by ISIL.
Daesh is further focusing on natural financial resources as narcotics; therefore, the terrorist group’s fighters most of whom were from the Chechen were operating in the Middle East.
Currently, Daesh is planning to organize and coordinate increasing uprisings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and in Central Asian countries in general as the group has recruited the Afghan nationals in Afghanistan. We even see that a number of elements of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization are members of the terrorist group in which Tajiks, Uighurs and Uzbeks, all of whom, of course, formed the outer body of ISIL-K in Afghanistan.
In the past two year, ISIL-K has targeted the Shiite population in Afghanistan.
The group has made effort to increase its presence in the country by conducting guerrilla tactics such as suicide attacks, targeted killings, and the use of other new and brutal tactics.
The UNSC’s report has come amid of increasing insecurities and surge in Taliban attacks across the country. It seems that the increasing threat of Daesh is serious not only in Afghanistan but also in the entire region. Therefore, all the world should give hands to root out all the terrorist groups including Daesh considered as a big challenge to the entire world.

 

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