The Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan is engaged in a global conflict

The Rising Threat of ISKP: From Iraq and Syria to Moscow and Beyond

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) is a radical offshoot of the group that established a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. ISKP considers even the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to be too moderate, criticizing them for their interactions with non-Islamic diplomats and allowing aid from unbelievers.

Despite its focus on Afghanistan for nearly nine years, ISKP’s global ambitions became clear on March 22nd when gunmen attacked a concert in Moscow, killing 139 people. The group has been blamed by American officials for the attack, with suspects from Tajikistan later being arrested by Russia. ISKP has also carried out attacks beyond Afghanistan, targeting countries like Turkey and Iran.

The group has enemies like America and China and has been recruiting individuals from Central Asian countries. Russia is also a target of ISKP due to its presence in Kabul and relationship with the Taliban. The group also targets countries supplying aid to Syria, where its parent organization was dismantled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Though estimates of ISKP’s strength vary, it is believed to have around 2,000 to 5,000 members. Its ability to connect with disaffected individuals is considered its strength, with its current leader being Shahab al-Muhajir, a 29-year-old of Arab descent. Despite limited information about its leader, ISKP is now under global scrutiny.


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