Saturday, December 30, 2017

ISIS AND AL QAEDA 2018

Interesting Article: "ISIS in Afghanistan Is Like a Balloon That Won't Pop" by Krishnadev Calamur, 28 December 2016. The Atlantic.


An interesting article mentioned that even though Abu Sayed, the head of ISIS-Khorasan, as the group is known in Afghanistan is dead, ISIS has not only survived, but it has also showcased its ability to strike at the heart of the Afghan state, like they did this week, when the group claimed responsibility for a suicide-bomb attack on a Shia cultural center in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Those killed included students who had gathered for a discussion to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (Christmas Day, 1979). There have been similar attacks in recent weeks and throughout the year. On Christmas Day, ISIS struck near an office belonging to the Afghan intelligence service, killing six people. On December 18, gunmen from the group stormed another intelligence center in Kabul, but that attempt ended with all three attackers being killed. All this comes even as the Taliban, which governed Afghanistan before it was toppled in 2001 following the U.S.-led invasion, is still the primary militant group operating in the country. The Taliban still has control—and support—in large parts of Afghanistan.

“It’s like a balloon, we squeeze them in this area and they’ll try to move out elsewhere.” So, what is the future threat for next year in 2018? Isis has sought to tout itself as the defender of Sunnis across the region and the choice of words in its statement is designed to drive that message. The sectarian theme is likely to be the group’s focus in the coming years, as it retreats from a caliphate to an insurgency. Terror attacks are likely to increase in 2018, as the destruction of the Islamic State's physical stronghold in Iraq and Syria will strengthen its will to strike out abroad.