Competitor resists IS foothold in Af-Pak region

Mullah Mansoor Dadullah - the Mullah Umar's deputy - has warned  IS against interfering in Afghanistan
Mullah Mansoor Dadullah – the Mullah Umar’s deputy – has warned IS against interfering in Afghanistan

KARACHI: The reports of growing inclination of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants towards Islamic State (IS) – also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Daish – have been endorsed by a warning Afghan Taliban had given to Abu-Bakr Al Baghdadi last month, says experts while pointing towards the disclosures that the suspects of Safoora carnage were inspired of IS.

The ‘threatening letter’ reinforces the belief that the IS’ ideology and activities are not only attracting educated youths from the West but the Af-Pak region as well, security experts believe.

Addressing a news conference a senior cop associated with Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Karachi police, Raja Umar Khattab, claimed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 that the suspects in Safoora attack and Sabeen Mahmud case – who are said to be associated with South Asia branch of Al Qaeda, a global Jihadi organization that has made allegiance to spiritual leader of Afghan Taliban Mullah Muhammad Umar – are inspired by Islamic States’ activities.

A day later on Thursday, law enforcers arrested three militants in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province separated from Afghanistan through a thin belt of federal administered tribal areas, claiming that Asmatullah, Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Ibrahim – the first two Afghan nationals were also inspired by the self-styled Islamic State.

IS, an Iraq and Syria based terrorist outfit, has mostly attracted educated youth of west and the suspects of Safoora carnage are graduates from the prestigious educational institutions like Institute of Business Administration (IBA), said an investigator, associated with investigations of the case on the condition of anonymity.

Security analysts believe that though it came in the wake of deadliest clashes between the fighters of Afghan Taliban and IS in parts of the Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, the content of the threatening letter from Afghan Taliban to its competitor, IS, is aimed at making its own IS-inclined militants clear of what the Taliban leadership believes.

In a letter, which is a mix of arguments, requests and threats, Afghan Taliban had warned leader of Islamic State (IS), Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi, to stay out of Afghanistan, saying Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – known as Afghan Taliban – considers “activities insides Afghanistan with separate names and flags against Islam, Muslims and Jihadi rules”.

Intelligence sources said the ‘warning’ was a result of fears among Taliban ranks developed as a result of increasing ‘influence’ of the Islamic States in Jihadi circles of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The letter addressed to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from Al-Hajj Mullah Akhtar Mansoor – deputy of Mullah Umar – and written on June 16, 2015 has underscored the importance of unity among Mujahedeen, which to Taliban leadership could be maintained only if both groups continue to work in their areas of influence.

The letter has further emphasized over the unity by arguing as how much the division of Mujahedeen in the post-Afghan Jihad and pre-Taliban Afghanistan had hurt the cause of Jihad.

“To take Jihad to its ultimate target is obligatory upon all Muslims, especially Mujahedeen. That’s why you should take care of unity with brothers of Islamic Emirates [Afghan Taliban] as per your religious obligation, help to strengthen them and not to show the intents that may results in inviting the anger of Mujahedeen leaders, religious scholars and thousands of Mujahedeen, which will deprive you of their love and affection”, the letter has warned.

“The Islamic Emirate will be compelled to show reaction for the defending the accomplishments it has achieved over decades”, the letter concludes with a warning.

The story was originally Published in The Frontier Post under the title Taliban resist growing influence of IS in Af-Pak region

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Author: Naimat

Karachi based journalist, writing on national and international issues.

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