A recent report by the United Nations suggests that the dreaded Islamic States's South Asia branch remains 'active, ambitious and threatening' and also has the potential to exacerbate the security threat to countries neighbouring Afghanistan. According to the report, the UN said that the Islamic State also has established contacts with other terror groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Further, they said that even though the Afghan authorities took custody of more than 1,400 people, the terror still remains a threat to regional security.
The UN report said, “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan remains active, ambitious and threatening. It continues its online recruitment and propaganda, for which it also conducts outreach activities in religious and academic institutions in Afghanistan, including Kabul University”.
The recent report is the 10th report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da'esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat. According to the report, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) came under severe military pressure from the security forces in Afghanistan and Taliban fighters towards the end of 2019 which later led to its virtual expulsion from what had been its Afghan headquarters in Nangarhar Province.
The reports further also noted that most of the ISIL-K fighters taken into custody by the Afghan authorities were Afghan nationals, however, it also included foreigners from Azerbaijan, Canada, France, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Further, nearly 2,100 fighters are now in Kunar Province, which has now effectively become the group's new Afghan core area. There are also a number of fighters elsewhere in Afghanistan which may now be as low as 400, giving a total estimate of 2,500 for the whole country.
The report further added, “It has established informal contact with other terrorist groups, including Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Islam, which regularly mount attacks on border posts of Pakistan. The approach of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan has the potential to exacerbate the security threat to countries neighbouring Afghanistan”.