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The Taliban Blames the U.S. for Afghanistan's Growing ISIS Problem

Sep 26, 2018
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The Taliban blames the United States for growing problems presented by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Afghanistan, where a deadly rivalry has disrupted the early days of the newly declared Islamic Emirate.

Ahmad Yasir, protocol officer of the Taliban's political office in Qatar, is among the senior officials who are of the opinion that outside powers were to blame for ISIS' presence in Afghanistan, where an attack claimed by the jihadis against a Shiite Muslim mosque last week claimed the lives of dozens and injured hundreds more.

Asked by Newsweek if the ISIS threat had grown since the withdrawal of U.S. forces at the end of August and if the Taliban specifically blamed the U.S. for this increased threat, Yasir replied, "Yes, there is no doubt that the malicious hand is behind the ISIS attack."

And he argued that his group had evidence to prove this claim, though he declined to share at this date and time, saying such materials would be made available "in the future."

Also holding the U.S. responsible for the ISIS foothold was Qari Saeed Khosty, who handles social media responsibilities for the Taliban. He dismissed the notion that the group now in charge of Afghanistan would need to work with the U.S. to take on a common foe.

"The Islamic Emirate has no need for cooperation with anyone against ISIS, because ISIS does not have popular roots in Afghanistan," Khosty told Newsweek. "As you see, it was with American help and the help of the Kabul administration, that ISIS returned and grew."


Taliban, officials, ISIS, mosque, blast, Kunduz

Taliban officials are pictured outside a Shiite Muslim mosque after a suicide bomb attack in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan on October 8. At least at 55 people were killed and hundreds more hurt when a blast claimed by ISIS tore through a prayer gathering held by the country's Shiite Muslim minority, which the Taliban have sworn to protect amid concerns they could be further marginalized by the Sunni Muslim group.AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The Taliban and ISIS are enemies with conflicting ambitions in their respective struggles.

The Taliban is rooted in Afghanistan, where the group emerged from the wake of a U.S.-aided mujahideen struggle against a Soviet intervention from 1979 to 1988. The conflict also gave birth to Al-Qaeda, which would take root in Afghanistan as the Taliban took control of much of the country until 2001, when the 9/11 attacks prompted a U.S.-led military campaign that dismantled the Taliban-led government.

The Islamic Emirate would return as an insurgency for the next 20 years until being reestablished as U.S. forces withdrew in August. Al-Qaeda, however, would spread elsewhere as the U.S. next invaded Iraq, toppling longtime leader Saddam Hussein and stirring a sectarian war that saw both Sunni and Shiite Muslim militias take up arms.

The most violent of these organizations was Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which declared the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006 and ultimately took advantage of a civil war in neighbor Syria to extend its presence there and rebrand as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or the Levant, in 2013. The newly formed group known as ISIS established a self-proclaimed caliphate that comprised large parts of Iraq and Syria, drawing international condemnation.

The following year, the U.S. formed an international coalition and partnered with local forces to take on ISIS in both countries in 2014. Iran that same year mobilized local and regional forces to take on ISIS, and Russia then staged a direct military intervention in Syria during 2015.

But as ISIS was defeated in Iraq and Syria, a splinter Taliban faction formed a new group calling itself the Islamic State Khorasan province, or ISIS-K, in Afghanistan. Both the Taliban and the U.S. saw the group as a threat and Pentagon leadership has even acknowledged instances in which U.S. airstrikes against ISIS effectively assisted Taliban engagements on the ground.

While the U.S. military and the Taliban displayed an ability to cooperate directly during the chaotic airlift of foreign forces out of Afghanistan in August, ISIS also took advantage of the tumult to conduct a bloody suicide attack at the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport. The bombing killed 13 U.S. soldiers and up to 170 Afghan civilians.

The Taliban said its members, too, were among the fallen and stepped up efforts against ISIS. The U.S. responded with airstrikes, including one that was said to have killed a senior ISIS commander, and another that was initially said to have killed another would-be attacker, but was ultimately acknowledged as having instead killed an Afghan aid worker and up to nine members of his family.

Though political contacts between U.S. diplomats and the Taliban continue in the Qatari capital of Doha, the Pentagon has said its efforts against ISIS-K remain limited to over-the-horizon (OTH) assets based outside of Afghanistan and that there was no direct line with Taliban commanders.

"While we continue to maintain OTH capabilities to counter terrorist activities in the region, we do not have any personnel on the ground in Afghanistan and have not been in communication with Taliban leadership," U.S. Central Command spokesperson Army Major John Rigsbee told Newsweek.

Rigsbee also underscored the position of President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly referred to ISIS-K as "the sworn enemy of the Taliban" and emphasized in August that it would benefit both the U.S. and the Taliban to not allow ISIS-K to grow in Afghanistan.

 

Nasr

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During the euphoria that the americans and nato were withdrawing from Afghanistan, I stated multiple times that the biggest threat to emerge post-american withdrawal, will be ISIS. Hate to say it, but I told you so!

There is no doubt that it is the West who is behind the creation and the fostering of ISIS. Be it in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya or Afghanistan. People are either deaf, dumb and blind not to see this, or have no braincells to connect the dots. There are clandestine agencies that stem from the West, that operate outside the spheres of power in the West. And the governments of the West have no knowledge of them, or are insulated from their existence. It is these clandestine agencies that recruit, direct, arm, connect, coordinate and plan for terrorist groups, micromanaged or independent. But the fact remains that it is these clandestine agencies are working behind the scenes, they have zero allegiances to any country in particular, their focus remains on meeting their objectives.

So don't be so foolish to dismiss it as "conspiracy theory," as it stands, these actors are hidden, concealed from being exposed by those who want them to remain hidden. Until such time as they are expendable.

ISIS and TTP are biggest threats to Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. They intend to exploit the Shia-Sunni divide, they intend to use brutality and they most certainly want to destabilize the region which constitutes of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. So it is imperative that each country should allocate resources and attention to the disease which is ISIS and TTP. The threat isn't hard to identify, study and target. We have their threat pattern to study from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. Pakistan and Iran should cooperate with Afghan Mujahideen to eliminate these terrorist groups from their respective countries.
 

Pandora

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ISIS leadership was given Refuge in prime localities of Kabul. Ghani and US used ISK as a tool to weaken Taliban on ground. They also used them to conduct attacks inside Pakistan. In every sense ISK is alive all thanks to NATO and Ghani.
 

Clutch

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Aug 3, 2008
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During the euphoria that the americans and nato were withdrawing from Afghanistan, I stated multiple times that the biggest threat to emerge post-american withdrawal, will be ISIS. Hate to say it, but I told you so!

There is no doubt that it is the West who is behind the creation and the fostering of ISIS. Be it in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya or Afghanistan. People are either deaf, dumb and blind not to see this, or have no braincells to connect the dots. There are clandestine agencies that stem from the West, that operate outside the spheres of power in the West. And the governments of the West have no knowledge of them, or are insulated from their existence. It is these clandestine agencies that recruit, direct, arm, connect, coordinate and plan for terrorist groups, micromanaged or independent. But the fact remains that it is these clandestine agencies are working behind the scenes, they have zero allegiances to any country in particular, their focus remains on meeting their objectives.

So don't be so foolish to dismiss it as "conspiracy theory," as it stands, these actors are hidden, concealed from being exposed by those who want them to remain hidden. Until such time as they are expendable.

ISIS and TTP are biggest threats to Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. They intend to exploit the Shia-Sunni divide, they intend to use brutality and they most certainly want to destabilize the region which constitutes of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. So it is imperative that each country should allocate resources and attention to the disease which is ISIS and TTP. The threat isn't hard to identify, study and target. We have their threat pattern to study from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. Pakistan and Iran should cooperate with Afghan Mujahideen to eliminate these terrorist groups from their respective countries.
Agree 100%
 

AZMwi

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US needs excuses to stay in Muslim countries or to keep them destabilised so they created ISIS.
US needs excuses to stay in Muslim countries or to keep them destabilised so they created ISIS.
 

One_Nation

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Think about this: US claims to have failed to eliminate Taliban as they were spread throughout Afghanistan and they were allegedly given refuge by Pakistan and also had local support.
The situation with ISIS-K/TTP was different as they were Pakistan's enemies and were confined to a small territory and mostly foreigners. Why didn't USA and their puppet regime's military take them out? It should have been very easy.
Also look at the location of where ISIS-K is reported to be based now. On Pakistan's borders and close proposed and current Chinese routes.
This explains a lot.
 

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