IS Affiliate Responsible for Kabul Terror Attack With Links to Germany

IS Affiliate Responsible for Kabul Terror Attack With Links to Germany

The Islamic State (IS) cell Khorasan, which claims the attack in Kabul, is responsible for hundreds of attacks in Afghanistan. However, its arm also reached as far as Germany.

The IS affiliate was formed around six years ago as one of the numerous regional groups that swore allegiance to the IS leader, then Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. IS representatives from the core area striving for a global caliphate had travelled to the region to find further potential affiliates.

Subsequently, former fighters of the Pakistani Taliban (also known as Tehrik-e Taleban Pakistan) and the Haqqani network and IS fighters from other parts of the world joined IS Khorasan.

The name refers to the historical region of Khorasan in Central Asia, which includes not only Afghanistan but also parts of Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

The initial leaders of IS Khorasan Province were all killed in quick succession by US military strikes. However, to this day, the IS affiliate continues to receive instructions from the IS “headquarters”, operating underground since the territory was lost.

Conducting attacks with the most brutal means and framing the attack via an IS connection marks a significant success for the imaginary califate.

Around 1000 people are believed to be assigned to the IS affiliate. In recent years, it carried out hundreds of attacks in Afghanistan, especially against local Afghan authorities and the Afghan security forces, in recent weeks in Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad, for example.

Moreover, the arm of affiliate Khorasan reaches as far as Germany: According to the prosecutor’s office, a suspected terrorist cell was discovered in Dusseldorf, controlled and radicalised by Khorasan in Afghanistan.

Five men of Tajik origin were arrested by special forces in North Rhine-Westphalia last April. The federal prosecutor accuses them of setting up a terrorist cell in January 2019, planning attacks in Germany and collecting money for the IS affiliate Khorasan.

Image by ResoluteSupportMedia (Flickr)/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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