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

Global Threats: The Rise of ISKP and Its Ambitions Beyond Afghanistan

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), a radical offshoot of the group that established a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, has been carrying out attacks beyond Afghanistan. On March 22nd, gunmen attacked a concert in Moscow, killing 139 people. This was ISKP’s first attack outside its home country and is believed to have been motivated by its desire to expand its global presence.

The group has also been blamed for an attack on an American military base in Kabul in January 2018, which killed four U.S. soldiers and two Afghan policemen. ISKP is considered a threat to both regional stability and international security, with estimates of its strength ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 members. Its ability to connect with disaffected individuals is seen as one of its strengths, 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. The United States and China are among its enemies, and it has been recruiting individuals from Central Asian countries like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Russia is also a target due to its presence in Kabul and relationship with the Taliban regime that ISKP considers not radical enough.

However, the Taliban regime remains unrecognized by any government due to their oppressive restrictions on female education. Their interactions with non-Islamic diplomats and acceptance of aid from unbelievers have also made them a target for ISKP propagandists who see them as too moderate. Despite this, the Taliban continues to hold power in Afghanistan and remains a significant force in the region.

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