UN warns of regrouping of ISIS, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan

ISIS and al-Qaeda, the transnational terrorist organizations, are regrouping in Afghanistan, warned the United Nations, saying the groups may pose increased threats amid deteriorating security situation and the fragile peace process

Jul 25, 2021
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al-Qaeda in Afghanistan

ISIS and al-Qaeda, the transnational terrorist organizations, are regrouping in Afghanistan, warned the United Nations, saying the groups may pose increased threats amid deteriorating security situation and the fragile peace process. 

Al Qaeda is present in at least 15 provinces, mainly in the east, south, and south-eastern, and is consisted of fighters mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, barring a few from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India.  

Despite losses during 2020 in northern provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar, ISIS-K, 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, said the report by the UN Security Council, published this week.

In Kabul, the Afghan capital, where ISIS conducts most of its attacks on religious and ethnic minorities, the group has expanded its presence in and around the city. In May, the group staged one of the most gruesome attacks, killing around 100 students in an attack on a girls’ school.  

The group has also prioritized the recruitment of disgruntled Taliban fighters and insurgents from Syria, Iraq, and other conflict zones,” the UN report said. Currently, the group has close to 500-1500 fighters in its rank; member nations of the security council warned it may rise to 10000 over the medium term. 

“Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is assessed by member states to be alive but ailing in Afghanistan. Sayf al Adl, his most likely successor, is reported to remain in Iran,” the report said.
 
(SAM)