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ISIS-K targets Taliban defectors in new recruitment tactic

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KABUL – In a recent UN report, Daesh, the notorious ISIL-K, has unleashed a new tactic in Afghanistan, targeting and recruiting disillusioned Taliban members and foreign fighters. This revelation, part of the Secretary-General’s latest assessment on the global threat landscape, sends shockwaves through the international community.

Despite Taliban claims of defeating Daesh and dwindling attacks, the report paints a grim picture of persistent terrorist activities, fueled by internal Taliban rifts. Daesh’s insidious reach extends to Tajik networks, with key figures like Khukumatov Shamil Dodihudoevich emerging as powerful propagandists and recruiters.

Exploiting discontent within Taliban ranks, Daesh lures members from groups like the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM/TIP), while Jamaat Ansarullah commanders defect to its ranks in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Kunar provinces. Even Sanaullah Ghafari, targeted in an attack, remains a steadfast leader in Kunar Province.

Amidst this chaos, Daesh’s leadership shuffle, appointing Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader, raises concerns of a strategic shift from Iraq and Syria to Africa and Afghanistan. Member States fear a surge in weapon proliferation, especially unmanned aircraft systems and improvised explosive devices, with Daesh reportedly sourcing arms from Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan.

The threat hits closer to home with individuals from North Caucasus and Central Asia possibly plotting attacks in Western Europe after traveling from Afghanistan or Ukraine. Recent arrests in Germany linked to ISIL-K underscore the persistent menace posed by the group.

Despite apparent setbacks, Member States unanimously agree: Daesh remains a formidable threat, not just within Afghanistan’s borders but far beyond. Taliban claims of total suppression ring hollow in the face of this alarming report.

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