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Islamic State has degraded in Afghanistan but is still threatening

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Tribal leader Daulat Khan is still having nightmares about fighters from a local branch of the Islamic State terrorist network that spread to other villages in Afghanistan five years ago.

Extremist extremists, including Afghans, Pakistanis, Arabs, and men from Central Asia, quickly seized control of the horror. They abducted some locals who worked for the Afghan government and later dumped their decapitated bodies in public. In one case, villagers were called to the beheading, where some fainted and others froze in horror.

Islamic State militants have since been pushed back into the mountains, sparking a fierce US-led bombing of Afghanistan by Afghan militants from the Taliban. The Taliban, wanting to expand their domestic political power, promised the Trump administration last year that they would prevent any attack from Afghan territory to the West after foreign troops leave.

The latest breakthrough in IP control is significant in President Biden’s decision to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the summer of this month. Biden argues that threats to the West, whether by the IP or remnants of the al-Qaeda network, can be neutralized remotely.

However, there are fears that in the event of post-Afghanistan chaos, the IP will “be able to find additional space to operate,” said Seth Jones, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Some say it took more than three years for the evacuation and degradation of IS fighters, many of them ethnic Pashtuns from Pakistani tribal areas and Afghans from the northeastern Nangarhar-Kunar provinces. The retreating militants left behind the mined roads and fields.

Khan was the leader Khan fled with his six brothers and their families from his village of Panantsa during the height of the war against the IP. They are in no hurry to return home, although the 63-member family is trapped in nine small rooms in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

“We are afraid they will return,” Khan, a father of 12, said of the IP fighters.

Biden has said he will hold the Taliban accountable for their commitment to prevent terrorist threats against the United States or its allies from Afghanistan. Twenty years ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan after al-Qaeda militants, hosted by the Taliban, carried out the 9/11 attacks.

In recent years, Washington has seen the Taliban as a national force with no outside ambitions, says a U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official says the Taliban, familiar with mountain caves and dirt roads in remote areas, are a useful ally against IS, which the United States considers the biggest threat from Afghanistan.

Justifying his decision to justify, Biden said that terrorism “metastasizes all over the world,” that “keeping thousands” of troops concentrated in one country at a cost of billions of dollars a year makes little sense to my leaders. »

The retreat is underway, and the final round begins on Saturday. By September 11, the United States will have withdrawn its last 2,500 to 3,500 troops, and some 7,000 NATO allies are behind schedule.

But there are concerns about the resurgence of IS, especially if the Taliban and the Afghan government are unable to reach a deal to seize power. The Afghan-Afghan peace talks remain deadlocked, despite US efforts to launch them.

Fighting between the Taliban and the government could further undermine the morale of Afghanistan’s 300,000-strong security force, which suffers daily and suffers from widespread corruption. It is unclear how troops can be a bulwark against new terrorist threats.

At the same time, the IP continues to recruit radicalized university students and dissatisfied Taliban. This was said by a former Afghan security official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The IP has resumed its campaign of targeted killings of minority Shiite Muslims, many of them ethnic thousands, including women’s rights activists and media workers. They claimed that two educational institutions, including Kabul University, were attacked last year, killing more than 50 students. Washington has blamed the Islamic State for a brutal attack on a maternity hospital in Kabul’s Hazara district last year. Newborns and pregnant women were killed.

In March, 7,000 people working at a plastering plant in the eastern city of Ala Alabad were killed in an attack by the Islamic State. The attackers tied their victims’ hands behind their backs, shooting each one in the head with one bullet.

Some residents there are afraid to point the finger at the IP, fearing that they may be targeted later.

It is stated that the IP operatives occupied an entire district near the central Talash bypass district. They have infiltrated the motorcycle rickshaw business, using cars for targeted killings, says taxi driver Saida Jan An.

Evan Coleman, a counterterrorism adviser, has said for some time that the IP presence in Afghanistan and surrounding areas was “completely dead,” but the group’s operations “have resumed seriously since then.”

“They pose a serious terrorist threat, but their tactics remain in the realm of murder and sabotage,” said Coleman, who has worked with the FBI’s Nine Eleven Answers Foundation following the attacks on the United States.

“They do not seem to be in a strong position to seize territory or threaten the United States.”

The Taliban say they have kept their promises to the United States by ordering the fighters to remove non-Afghans from their ranks, saying al-Qaeda should leave the region. Some analysts say they are not convinced that the Taliban have left al-Qaeda-like groups.

At the same time, US officials acknowledge that the withdrawal will reduce Washington’s collective intelligence capabilities, even if al Qaeda and al-Qaeda are unable to attack US targets from Afghanistan.

Asfandiar Mir said at the Stanford University Center for International Security Cooperation that the United States will be able to continue remote wiretapping, while intelligence gathering in the country will be further weakened.

“The US campaign in Afghanistan was poor enough to get good information, to be played by hired actors, at the expense of innocent civilians during raids and strikes that went wrong,” Mir said.

“With the withdrawal of the US military, failing to provide possible information, existing resources will be depleted, and opportunities for bad actors to rape the United States will increase,” he said.

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