Taliban Kills IS-K Operative, Designated in India As Terrorist, In Southern Afghanistan


Guess what? The Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) confirmed the death of Ejaz Amin Ahangar, known as Abu Usman Al-Kashmiri, a senior member of the group in southern Afghanistan. This IS-K operative had been designated a terrorist by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in January 2023.


Go deeper:

  • IS-K said in a statement that Al-Kashmiri had been killed on February 14 during a clash with the Taliban. Even though, Daesh’s statement did not mention the exact location of this incident, Indian intelligence sources stated that the Taliban had conducted this operation in Kunar province.
  • Indian intelligence officials are believed to have flagged Ahangar’s case in meetings held with the Taliban late last year.
  • Over the past few months, the Taliban has reported numerous clashes with ISIS members in different provinces of Afghanistan.
  • Ahangar was wanted in India’s Jammu and Kashmir for more than two decades. Besides being engaged in his alleged role as the IS recruiter for more than three years, Ahangar was accused of building coordination channels between various terrorists groups, including Al-Qaeda.
  • He is alleged to have been engaged in re-starting the ISIS channels in India, the MHA said in the notification. Besides, he was accused of providing traction to militancy in Kashmir Valley and has initiated an online India-centric ISIS propaganda magazine.


Who is this operative? Kashmir-born jihad commander Ejaz Ahmad Ahangar is alleged to have led an Islamic State cell responsible for a series of suicide attacks in Kabul and Jalalabad.

  • Before joining the IS-K, Abu Usman Al-Kashmiri, believed to be born in 1973, had been a member of Harakat Al-Mujahedin in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen had close ties with Afghan jihad patriarch Jalaluddin Haqqani, as well as al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden.
  • As per media reports, Ahangar’s rise in the jihadist movement, though, came after his arrest in 1992. Inside the Indian prison, police sources say, he was mentored by Abdul Gani Dar, a cleric who had founded the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen. The Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen was a relatively small group, but had close affiliations with the wider jihadist movement in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Late in 2010, Ahanger moved to Miranshah, to join the network of jihadist warlord Muhammad Illyas Kashmiri. Illyas — a veteran of the jihad in Kashmir, then joined the al-Qaeda.
  • In 2014, he fled across the Pakistan border into Afghanistan’s Paktia province. There, he joined a circle of jihadists around Hafiz Saeed Khan, a Pakistani jihadist who would go on to found the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
  • Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada signed a peace agreement with the Islamic State in 2017. Following the agreement, Ahangar was given charge of a new Islamic State unit set up to stage attacks against India-linked targets.
  • In April 2020, Ahanger moved again, this time to a safe-house in Kandahar. He was discovered there by Afghan intelligence.
  • Al-Kashmiri is believed to have been the first Amir of the “Indian province” of ISIS.


Zoom out: Ahangar is supposed to be the mastermind of the March 2020 suicide bombing which killed a security guard and 24 worshippers at the Gurdwara Kart-e Parwan in Kabul.

  • He was also believed to have been responsible for a suicide attack at Jalalabad.
  • Ahangar had been incarcerated in Afghanistan together with his family, but fled prison after the country fell to the Taliban in 2021.
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