Home Afghanistan CNN: ‘Taliban’s Pashto chauvinism helps ISIS-K’ recruitment from other ethnic groups

CNN: ‘Taliban’s Pashto chauvinism helps ISIS-K’ recruitment from other ethnic groups

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Edmund Fitton-Brown, a senior adviser to the New York-based Counter Extremism Project, told CNN that ISIS-K “has the desire and a growing ability to project beyond Afghanistan and carry out regional attacks” in Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia, bolstered by a robust media output in Tajik, Uzbek and Russian. Fitton-Brown said that in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s “Pashto chauvinism has helped ISIS-K recruit from other Afghan ethnic groups.”

CNN, citing a senior advisor to the new-York-based extremism project, said that the Taliban’s Pashtun extremist nationalism has facilitated the recruitment of other Afghan ethnic groups into ISIS Khorasan.

Edmund Fitton-Brown said that “in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s “Pashto chauvinism has helped ISIS-K recruit from other Afghan ethnic groups.”

Brown stated that ISIS Khorasan has both the desire and capability for growth to launch attacks beyond Afghanistan.

According to CNN’s report, despite expectations of diminished ISIS threat amid news from Ukraine, Gaza, and the upcoming US elections, the attack on a concert hall in Moscow demonstrated that the threat of Islamist terrorism and the ambitions of ISIS Khorasan extend far beyond the camps it operates in the mountains of Afghanistan.

The American media outlet, citing analysts, notes that ISIS Khorasan has an increasing focus on Europe and sees events such as this year’s Paris Olympics as potential targets.

UN experts and others, including Russian security services, estimate the number of ISIS Khorasan fighters to be between four to six thousand. Sanaullah Ghafari was declared the leader of this group in 2020. Reports of Ghafari’s death surfaced in recent months, but terrorism analysts now believe he remains an influential leader for ISIS Khorasan.

Amir Jadoon, who has written a book on ISIS, told CNN that in the past three years, ISIS Khorasan has become more aggressive and expansionist in its efforts to spread its networks across South and Central Asia. He stated that ISIS’s multilingual campaign now operates more aggressively.

According to this expert, ISIS leverages a spectrum of regional grievances to advance its jihadist goals.

ISIS-K’s deadliest attack so far was the suicide bombing at Kabul airport in 2021, which killed nearly 200 people, including 13 US soldiers who were guarding the airport.

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