Will Russia and Turkey intensify the fight against ISIS – Khorasan Province?.. A British report answers


Operational vacuum
According to the website, “This opened the way for ISIS-K, which has been active in Afghanistan since 2015, to direct human resources to fill the operational vacuum left by the public collapse of ISIS in 2019. Turkey became a destination for this organization.” At the end of January, a local cell carried out an attack in Istanbul. As with the attack in Russia, which was claimed under the general term “Soldiers of the Caliphate,” ISIS’s “Turkey Province” claimed responsibility for the Istanbul attack. Likewise, ISIS claimed responsibility for the twin explosions that occurred in Kerman, Iran, in January. But in each case, links to ISIS-K have emerged.”
The website continued, “ISIS-K may have provided support at various levels to plan, finance, and implement the Moscow attack. We should assume that the organizational structure of ISIS-K is diverse, with some layers under central control from Afghanistan or Pakistan, while other branches are only loosely connected to or influenced by them. The group can mobilize cells spread across the perimeter of the area through a remotely directed structure. The level of involvement between the organization’s central structure and other cells can vary from one attack to another.”
The site added, “According to researcher Aaron Zelin, “Unlike many previous groups that relied on a stable safe haven to gain more time and space for planning and training, ISIS-K actually became weaker in Afghanistan during the Taliban’s second year in power, while He paradoxically expanded his capacity for foreign operations. The organization has built its presence through international propaganda efforts, while also focusing on conducting operations in various countries as a transnational organization. In the years leading up to 2014, Russia reportedly turned a blind eye to Islamist fighters leaving the country to join ISIS, hoping to reduce the threat of domestic terrorism. This strategy will come back to haunt it, as the armed group’s subsequent shift into Africa and Central Asia, along with Moscow’s expanding activities in Africa, make Russia a prime target.”

Warning to the world
According to the website, “There are two additional developments that have led to an increase in anti-Russian sentiment. First, after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, Russia sought to strengthen relations with the Taliban regime, which raised ISIS-K fears that the two countries’ resources could be combined to fight the armed group. Then, with the beginning of the war in Ukraine, ISIS said in its own propaganda: “This bloody war being waged today between the Orthodox Crusaders, that is, Russia and Ukraine, is an example of the punishment that has been inflicted upon them and that has stuck with them forever.” “Given its demographic structure and the nature of its economic relations with Central Asian countries, Russia could remain an open field of action for ISIS-K in the coming months and years, as migration rates from Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries remain high.”
The site continued, “In fact, the difficult period that Russia is going through with armed groups may have just begun. In sum, following the collapse of ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq, and the subsequent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, ISIS-K has changed its tactics throughout the region, and this has included an increased focus on international outreach, both in terms of propaganda and operations. in the end. Therefore, the potential threat from the organization is not limited to the Khorasan region. At the same time, Russia is about to enter a period of war over the group domestically. “As a result of the Moscow attack, we can expect the country to take more aggressive counter-terrorism measures.”

The site concluded, “This should serve as a warning to the rest of the world, not only Western countries that have recently responded to attacks, but also great powers like China, whose citizens have been targeted by ISIS in recent years and months.”

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