21 October 2015
The ISIS chapter in Afghanistan has emerged as an imminent threat to the region, specifically after it gained control of areas in the Nangarhar province. The province’s critical location along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the group’s readiness to feed demand for narcotics trade grant it strength.
Since July this year, the ISIS chapter in Afghanistan has taken control of seven districts in the southern part of the Nangarhar province. The province is located along the east of Afghanistan, and borders Pakistan. The control of physical territories indicates that the group is no longer on the fringes of the region. The group has established Shariah courts and prisons, closed down more than 60 educational institutions and recruited local children into its ranks of militants. It has also released barbaric videos aimed at terrorising those who stand up to their violent penchant for control and have perpetrated incidents of violence in the province.
The Pashtun population has been largely resistant to ISIS’ recruitment efforts, and has fended off the terrorist group’s attempts at enforcing a foothold in the areas under its control. Yet, the ISIS chapter in Afghanistan has managed to carve out areas for control and has been involved in door-to-door recruitment campaigns while they forcibly marry local women to its fighters. According to a recent UN Report, the entity has managed to gain supporters from 25 of the 34 provinces in the country. These developments indicate that ISIS in Afghanistan has become a more pressing threat to stability within the country, and Pakistan as well.
… Sara Mahmood is a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 13/11/2015