The organization of the Islamic state is expanding in Afghanistan in preparation for attacking the West

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Kabul – Katari Gannon believes that the Islamic state organization has been a dreamer. He has dreamed of succeeding him in Syria and Iraq, but is now expanding his presence in the forbidden mountains of northeast Afghanistan by recruiting new fighters and planning attacks on the United States and other Western countries.

Almost two decades after the US invasion, the extremist organization is seen as a greater threat than the Taliban because of its sophisticated military capabilities and strategy that targets civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad. A US intelligence official based in Afghanistan told the Associated Press that the wave of recent attacks in the capital Kabul is just a "practical training" for larger attacks in Europe and the United States.

"He is the most immediate threat to our homelands from Afghanistan," said the official, who asked not to be identified. The main aim of the organization is to carry out external attacks in the United States and Europe. That is his goal. It's only a matter of time, which is very frightening. "

Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, sees Afghanistan as the new potential base for Da'ash now that he has been expelled from Iraq and Syria.

"He has invested a disproportionate amount of attention and resources in Afghanistan," he said, referring to a "massive stockpiling of arms" in the east.

Governorate of "Caliph"

In the summer of 2014, a pro-Afghan organization appeared in Afghanistan and succeeded in establishing the so-called "Caliphate" state, or the Islamic Empire, on about a third of the territory of both countries.

The Afghanistan branch of the organization refers to itself as the Khurasan province, a name that was used in parts of Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia in the Middle Ages.

Initially, the organization advocated the recruitment of a few dozen fighters, mostly from the Pakistani Taliban who were expelled from their bases across the border, in addition to some of those attracted to the ideology of the most extreme organization.

While the Taliban limited their attacks and activities in Afghanistan, loyalists pledged allegiance to the group's Middle East leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and embraced his call for global jihad against non-Muslims. Inside Afghanistan, an organization has been launching large-scale attacks on the Shiite minority, which they regard as rebelling and deserving of death.

But the organization suffered some early hurdles, especially after its leaders were captured by US air strikes, but it gained considerable support when the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan joined its ranks in 2015.

Today, the organization includes thousands of fighters, many from Central Asia, as well as from Arab countries, Chechnya, India and Bangladesh, as well as Uighurs from China.

Afghanistan has been the focus of the Afghan insurgency in the eastern province of Nangarhar, a rugged region along the border with Pakistan. It has a strong presence in northern Afghanistan and has recently expanded to include the neighboring Afghan province of Kunar.

This mountainous province provided refuge for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden for almost a year after the Taliban were ousted. US forces have struggled for years to seize the high front positions there and ultimately topple the Taliban.

The region of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Lajman was so serious that the US-led coalition called the NKL.

Militants firing rockets from the mountains of Kunar dropped a US Chinook helicopter in 2005, killing 16 naval and special operations forces in one of the bloodiest attacks of the war.

"Right now in Kunar, the Taliban occupy the right side of the road, and the left side is on the alert, and the government is in the middle," said Ajmal Omar, a member of the Nangarhar state council.

Speaking at his fortified home in Jalalabad, the capital of the state, he said Kunar would take the role of the Middle East and would become the center of gravity for a hasty organization.

"What's bad is a daunting acquisition of key areas, where they can easily access funds, weapons and equipment, where they can also plan attacks, train and equip fighters. "I think the expansion of territory in eastern Afghanistan is his first military objective with the aim of eventually encircling Jalalabad."

Threat of the West

WASHINGTON [Reuters] – Without an aggressive strategy to combat terrorism, a US official in Afghanistan could launch a large-scale attack in the United States or Europe next year, the US intelligence official said, adding that the Daish fighters captured in Afghanistan had been found in contact with their fellow militants in other countries .

The authorities have already launched at least eight arrests in the United States for suspected links to a militant organization in Afghanistan.

Martin Azizi-Yarand, 18, who planned a 2018 attack on a suburban mall, said the operation was inspired by a hasty organization and was preparing to join the Afghan branch. He was sentenced in April to 20 years' imprisonment.

Rahmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek who ran into Stockholm in his truck in 2017, also had links with the Afghan branch of the organization, the intelligence official said. "This is my commander in Afghanistan and he tells me what to do," he said during the interrogation.

Within Afghanistan, the organization is recruiting fighters at universities, where smart Afghans are likely to find the ability to travel abroad, use social media, and help plan sophisticated attacks.

The organization's brutal tactics have been openly implemented inside Afghanistan for years, with suicide bombings killing hundreds of Shia civilians in Kabul and elsewhere.



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