Sunday, February 15, 2015

ISIS Has Arrived In Afghanistan

The Islamic State has apparently arrived in Afghanistan and the government, in denial for quite some time, is finally admitting there is a potential problem, although they are handling it before it becomes an issue.

"Islamic State or those people who call themselves Islamic State are active in some areas and our intelligence reports confirm it and we cannot deny it," Interior Ministry spokesman Siddiq Sidiqqi admitted during a February 10 interview with RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.
But he said that national security forces were on top of the situation, offering assurances that "wherever they act we destroy them and don’t give them the opportunity to become active in Afghanistan."

They did off ex-Guantanamo prisoner/Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Rauf, who was recruiting for Islamic State in southern Afghanistan. And nabbed the Afghan spokesman for IS, Abdul Qadir Wahidi, who is now spending some time in prison. According to RFE/RL:

He said that he was arrested about two months ago by NSD officers when he appeared in Kabul for what he thought would be peace talks with government officials.
Wahidi said it was he who sent and appeared in a video to a Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent in September in which he claimed to represent a group called the Islamic Organization of Great Afghanistan, and expressed its willingness to fight for Islamic State "caliph" Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

Many believe there is no way the Islamic State will gain foothold in a country that houses the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Some pointed to cultural clashes that would erupt when outsiders adhering to a strict form of Wahhabism encroached on long-established tribal traditions in Afghanistan. Others asked whether disgruntled Taliban were simply saying they were allying themselves with Islamic State in order to gain street cred. And the possibility was raised that provincial officials were heightening alarm in order to attract more funding and security from Kabul.
Though there's not much difference between these groups, there are cultural differences that might not appeal to the likes of the Taliban. After all, Islamic State jihadists kill homosexuals, Taliban actually use young boys as sex slaves.  That might doom the ever popular bacha bazi entertainment- dressing up young boys in dress for dancing and sex. Islamic State might just be a tad too strict.

So it seems Islamic State fighters might have a fight on their hands. Mohammad Jan Rasulyar, deputy governor of Helmand Province had this to say:

"... the Islamic State militants, who were carrying black flags to indicate their allegiance to Al-Baghdadi's group, were clashing with white-flagged Taliban.
We consider both groups an enemy, both of them are enemies of Afghans and killing Afghans," Rasulyar said. "But, it would better for us if they would fight each other and our Afghans were spared from their evil."

That's what I was thinking. Let them duke it out and be done with it, but others think Islamic State and Taliban will iron out their differences and become a major problem if the government doesn't do something about it now.
Speaking before a gathering of Afghan clerics in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif on February 13, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Mohammad Mohaqiq called on the Afghan government to take serious action to counter Islamic State's activities.

Military analyst Jawed Kohistani said that, if Kabul doesn't answer the call now, it will mean trouble by as early as this summer.

"They [IS recruits in Afghanistan] will resolve their problems with the Taliban, find resources to fund their activities, and will be prepared for offensive operations," he told Radio Free Afghanistan on February 13. "If [the government] doesn't make good use of the capabilities and abilities of its military forces and doesn't pay attention to intelligence, we will be confronted with enormous problems in the future."

But Islamic State of Syria and Iraq's (ISIS) head honcho, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, allegedly called the Taliban's head honcho, Mullah Mohammad Omar, a fool and illiterate war lord, and that ISIS has accomplished more in two years than the Taliban has in the past ten years. Them 'thar are fightin' words.

Just let them off each other, please.

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