A senior Afghan National Army (ANA) commander in southern Afghanistan has confirmed that a former Taliban leader is trying to recruit people for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Helmand province.
Gen. Mahmood Khan, the deputy commander of Afghan National Army (ANA) 215 Corps, has said that the representatives of the ex-Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Rauf are fanning out to recruit people within the past week.
“A number of tribal leaders, jihadi commanders and some ulema (religious council members) and other people have contacted me to tell me that Mullah Rauf had contacted them and invited them to join him,” Khan told the Associated Press.
According to Khan, the Taliban group warned people not to contact Rauf.
This comes as local residents of Sangin district in Helmand province said a group of insurgents in black uniforms have started movements in the district carrying black flags and vehicles.
The local residents also confirmed that the group is led by a local commander identified as Abdul Rauf are operting in Zamin Dawar area of Sangin and also parts of Kajaki district.
However, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials have rejected that ISIS terrorist group is operating in Afghanistan and said there are no signs that the group has infiltrated in the country.
In the meantime, a video was released by ISIS on Saturday purports to show militant leaders who identify themselves as from Afghanistan and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP’s) former spokesman Shahidullah Shahid pledging their support to the Islamic State group.
The video obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group purportedly showing the beheading of a man whom they identify as a Pakistani military soldier.