UN report warns of rising terror threat
The Islamic State (IS) affiliate in Afghanistan has established contacts with Pakistan-based groups such as the Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Lashkar-e-Islam and its approach could increase the threat to neighbouring countries, according to a United Nations report.
The report by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, which tracks the terror threat from IS and al-Qaeda, also states that an unspecified number of Indians were among the more than 1,400 people linked to Islamic State-Khorasan, which recently surrendered to Afghan authorities in Nangarhar province.
The report, submitted last December but made public this week, said the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) “has established informal contact with other terrorist groups, including Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Islam”.
It added, “The approach of ISIL-K could increase the security threat to neighbouring States.”
Another report from the same team last June said the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) played a key role in providing recruits and funding to the Taliban and other terror groups in Afghanistan. That report quoted Afghan officials as saying some 500 LeT fighters were active in the Kunar and Nangarhar provinces.
People familiar with developments said the report supported intelligence that more Pakistan-based terror groups were diverting their fighters to Afghanistan following pressure on Islamabad from Western powers and the Financial Action Task Force to crack down on terrorists.
The UN report further said that Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters had inflicted “severe damage on ISIL-K, displacing it from large areas of Nangarhar”. It added that more than 1,400 people surrendered to Afghan authorities, “including dependants of ISIL-K fighters” and most males were Afghans, “but there were also foreign nationals from Azerbaijan, Canada, France, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan”.