Afghanistan faces a “challenging” security landscape, according to a new report by the United Nations monitoring team for the ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
Terrorist activities and radical ideology continue to be a potential source of threats to the region and globally, the report finds.
The report claims that the Islamic State Khorasan IS-K —which has taken credit for the high profile attacks including the killing of a journalist on December 10—seems to be on the back foot.
It suffers from “degraded combat capability, reduced support on the ground and insufficient funding,” the report finds.
As per the Week report, in June 2020, the IS-K appointed Shahab al-Muhajir, also known as Sanaullah to lead the group. Described as an “urban lion”, he is known as an experienced military leader. He is also, according to a member state who remains unnamed, a former mid-level commander in the Haqqani Network.
He “had maintained close cooperation with the entity, providing “key expertise and access to networks”, according to the report.
The report puts the current number of its members to between 1,000 and 2,200. However, it notes that, despite its significant loss of territory, “ISIL-K has not been entirely eradicated from the districts of Manogay, in Kunar, and Achin, in Nangarhar.”
It also notes that the “fragile consensus” between Al-Qaida and ISIL to “fight a common enemy” is over—as both groups are now involved in violent confrontations in all conflict zones apart from Libya.
The report also reveals that the links between Al Qaida and the Taliban continue to remain strong. Al-Qaida assesses that its future in Afghanistan depends upon its close ties to the Taliban,’ as well as to “the success of the Taliban military operations in the country.”