Islamic State is secretly plotting series attacks on Shia and Ahmadi mosques throughout the world. While according to media reports, recently Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh in a statement said that Shi’ite Muslims are perilous and they will be targeted by them everywhere, counter-militancy organizations said, they also have gathered information about Islamic State’s secret plot of series attacks on Ahmadi mosques in a number of countries in the world.
According to Khaama Press, Islamic State’s week has recently published the warning stating the “Shia Muslims will be targeted in their homes and centers. Although the statement has especially threatened Shia Muslims in Afghanistan, counterterrorism experts said, such notoriety may also take place in other countries – from Baghdad to Iran – from Bahrain to Syria, Lebanon and beyond.
ISIS Khorasan now remains the biggest threat to the peace in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country, Khaama Press said.
The warning came after a powerful explosion rattled a Shia Mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province on October 15, killing over 60 worshipers while wounding more than 80. The attack was claimed by the ISIS-K.
On October 8, another terrorist attack on a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s Kunduz killed more than 100 people and injured several. The deadly blast ripped through Sayed Abad Mosque in northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz as local residents attended the mosque for Friday prayer.
ISIS said in a statement posted late on Friday on social media that two of the group’s members shot and killed security guards manning the entrance of the Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province.
One detonated his explosives at the entrance of the mosque and the other inside.
ISIS’s news agency Amaq in a statement gave the names of the attackers as Anas al-Khurasani and Abu Ali al-Baluchi, both Afghan nationals.
The families of the victims Saturday dug their graves and carried the bodies to their final resting place. In total, 63 graves were dug, but the Taliban’s chief for the provincial department of culture and information maintained the official death toll was 47.
“There are so many who have lost body parts, and among those in hospital in serious condition, I don’t know how many more numbers will be added to the death toll,” said community elder Hajji Farhad.
Shiite leader Sayed Mohammed Agha called on the Taliban Government to take serious measures to protect the Shia minority, “because our enemies will harm our society by any means they can”.
The attack came a week after a bombing claimed by the local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shia mosque in northern Afghanistan, raising fears that ISIS — an enemy of both the Taliban and the West — is expanding its foothold.
Meanwhile, according to experts, the bomb blast that killed 46 Shia worshippers and wounded 143 in northern Afghanistan is a horrifying reminder of the growing threat posed by ISIS-Khorasan terrorists following the US withdrawal. The attack during Friday prayers at a mosque in Kunduz province coincided with the first meeting in Doha between a US CIA-led delegation and Taliban officials. It was about the agreement Donald Trump reached in February 2020, that if the US withdrew, the Taliban would not harbour terrorists who could attack the US and its allies.
The Kunduz bombing and a spate of similar atrocities across Afghanistan show the limits of the Taliban’s capacity to rein in ISIS-K, if it wants to. The situation should sound the alarm about the way the world’s deadliest Islamist terrorist group is losing no time using the US withdrawal to intensify its attacks. Like the Taliban, ISIS-K is made up of Sunni Muslim extremists.
But the two groups are fiercely opposed. The 10 per cent of Afghanistan’s 40 million people who are Shia Muslims are targeted relentlessly by ISIS-K. On Saturday, ISIS-K said the Kunduz attack was carried out by a Uighur Muslim suicide bomber and targeting Shias and the Taliban “for its willingness to expel (Afghanistan’s several thousand) Uighurs to meet demands from China”. The statement adds intrigue to China’s attempts to cosy up to the Taliban since the US withdrawal. As part of Beijing’s efforts to subjugate its Uighur minority, it has reportedly been urging the Taliban to expel Uighurs believed to be fighters of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement sheltering in Afghanistan.
In Doha, whatever hopes the US delegation had of a reaffirmation by the Taliban that it would stick by the deal on harboring terrorists were short-lived. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said there would be “no co-operation with Washington on containing ISIS-K”. The Taliban was able to deal with ISIS-K on its own, he said. The Biden administration should not take such assurances at face value. Just as Kabul’s new terrorist rulers are doing little to curb ISIS-K’s activities, there is no sign, either, of the Taliban fulfilling its promise to Mr Trump to sever its ties with al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan. Like ISIS-K, al-Qa’ida is becoming more active.
ISIS-K (Khorasan refers to a historical region that included parts of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan) poses a growing threat to South Asia as a whole, including India. So does al-Qa’ida, buoyed by the Taliban takeover. The Taliban’s refusal to co-operate will test Joe Biden’s confident assertion that “over the horizon” missile strikes from afar will be sufficient to forestall a looming jihadist resurgence.
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